Taekwondo athletes appear to be North Korea’s first delegation to travel since border closed in 2020

Date:

BEIJING (AP) — North Korean taekwondo athletes and officials were traveling through Beijing on Friday morning, apparently the country’s first…

BEIJING (AP) — North Korean taekwondo athletes and officials were traveling through Beijing on Friday morning, apparently the country’s first delegation to travel abroad since the nation closed its borders in early 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group of around 80 men and women wearing white track suits with “Taekwondo-Do” printed on the back and the North Korean flag on the front were in the departure hall of Beijing’s international airport checking in and walking to customs. They reportedly arrived Wednesday or Thursday.

The group was expected to take an Air Astana flight to Kazakhstan to compete at the International Taekwon-do Federation World Championships, according to Japanese and South Korean media. The competition is being held in Astana through Aug. 30.

North Korea has extremely limited air connections at the best of times and travel all but ended when Pyongyang closed the national borders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. How badly North Koreans were affected by the illness is unknown, since the country lacks most basic health care and shares limited information with the outside world.

The apparent resumption of travel came as the U.N. rights chief, Volker Türk, told the first open meeting of the U.N. Security Council since 2017 on North Korean human rights that the country was increasing its repression and people were becoming more desperate, with some reported to be starving as the economic situation worsens.

Türk said North Korea’s restrictions are even more extensive, with guards authorized to shoot any unauthorized person approaching the border and with almost all foreigners, including U.N. staff, still barred from the country.

Copyright
© 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Share post:

Subscribe

Popular

More like this
Related

Embracing New Era of Regulation: Ebdox Obtains US MSB License

Recently, the highly regarded cryptocurrency exchange Ebdox officially announced...

Ohio senators want to change constitution to stop political dark money

By J.D. DavidsonThe Center Square  Two Ohio senators want federal...

Tories announce ‘Triple Lock Plus’ pension allowance

The Conservatives have promised to raise the tax-free pension...

KAKAUE Anti-Scam Tutorial: Revealing Scams and Prevention Methods in the Cryptocurrency Market

In the contemporary digital age, the widespread adoption of...