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N. Korean athletes arrive in Hangzhou for Asian Games: reports

Sept. 16, 2023 - 15:27 By Yonhap
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Torchbearers Zhang Tao at right and Cao Chen pass the flame during the torch relay of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province on Sept. 8, 2023. (Photo - AP)

A group of North Korean athletes has reportedly arrived in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou to participate in the upcoming Asian Games.

North Korea has registered 191 athletes to attend the Hangzhou Asian Games set to run from next Saturday to Oct. 8, according to the organizer's website.

Some 60 North Korean athletes and coaches arrived at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport on Friday evening, Chinese media reported.

They first arrived in Dandong, northeastern China, on Friday by bus from North Korea's border city of Sinuiju and then boarded a flight to Hangzhou, a source based in Dandong said.

The Games will mark the first international multisport competition for North Korea to take part in since the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

North Korea skipped the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, citing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, and was banned by the International Olympic Committee from competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The ban was lifted at the end of last year.

Pyongyang implemented strict border restrictions in January 2020 for over three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before announcing official border reopening measures last month. (Yonhap)