North Korea Starts Olympic Games TV Coverage Three Weeks After It Began

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North Korea Olympics (PA)PA Images

The Tokyo Olympics may be a memory for most people, but the coverage is just beginning in North Korea.

The highs and lows of the Olympics kept people around the world entertained. Nonetheless, people in North Korea are only getting their first glimpses at what transpired today. Through the Korean Central Television network, the country saw 70 minutes of a women’s football match between the UK and Chile this week. The match was originally broadcast live on July 21.


Previously, the country has aired the Olympics days after events. However, this instance sees a significant delay in the footage, and it is unclear where the country sourced the footage from.

Kim Jong Un before weight loss (PA)PA Images

As a dictatorship, with largely closed-off borders, North Korea tends to take different approaches to world events. In previous years, the country had utilised an offer from the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union through a partnership with South Korean broadcaster SBS to televise the games.

However, the poor quality of the video reported by the BBC and lack of commentary has made the source of the footage a mystery.


Although the country is now showing the games, it did not send any athletes to Tokyo amid fears over Covid-19 transmission. This marked the first time North Korea did not compete in a summer Olympics since 1988 when it boycotted the Seoul Games during the Cold War. Currently, the country claims it has had no cases of coronavirus, although some experts are sceptical.

North Korea’s decision not to attend the games ended South Korean hopes that the Tokyo Olympics could be used to engage with the country. In 2018, the Winter Olympics in South Korea allowed the two countries to initiate diplomacy as Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, and 22 North Korean athletes were in attendance.

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Topics: News, North Korea, Now, Olympics, Tokyo, Tokyo Olympics


  1. BBC

    North Korea airs Olympics coverage days after it ends

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