A team of 12 athletes from the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is competing in the World Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad, Sweden, thanks to the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Olympic Solidarity is covering all costs related to the participation of the North Korean athletes, including air tickets and accommodation, working closely with the International Table Tennis Federation and the Organising Committee of the World Championships.
The tournament, which is taking place from 29 April to 6 May, is the first step of preparations for the 18th Asian Games that will be held in August, and ultimately for potential qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
This latest aid to athletes from the NOC of the DPRK follows the comprehensive support for athletes to train, qualify for and take part in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. This support began in 2014 when the IOC started a special programme to help North Korean athletes qualify for the Olympic Winter Games, and ultimately led to the historic moment when the athletes from North and South Korea marched together as one team at the Opening Ceremony behind one flag, the Korean Unification Flag.
The IOC has promised to continue to support DPRK athletes – within the rules of the United Nations sanctions – with the ultimate aim of helping them qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.