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North Korean Olympians out of favour

Sunday, August 28 2016 by SNTV
  • North Korea's Olympic team was welcomed home from Rio 2016 at Pyongyang Airport with a low-key celebration on Saturday (27th August).

    North Korea's Olympic team were given a low-key welcome on Saturday, symptomatic - it has been said - of Kim Jong-un's anger at his side missing their gold medal target of 5. Though the secretive state's athletes achieved one more medal than at London 2012, they only scored 2 golds.

    And their arrival in Pyongyang airport on a regular flight from Beijing was met only by a small crowd of family, friends and fellow athletes.

    They won a total of 7 medals:

    A gold and three silvers in weightlifting; two bronzes in table tennis and shooting, and a second gold in gymnastics by Ri Se Gwang. Here he is, explaining what it meant to him:

    SOUNDBITE: (Korean) Ri Se Gwang, North Korean Olympic gold medal winner in the gymnastics vault:

    "I did my best in this competition to bring back victory and confidence for our army and people."

    The lack of crowd-lined streets hinted at their leader's disappointment. Disappointment which will be compounded by the fact that rivals South Korea returned with 21 medals - including 9 golds.

    As for the the less garlanded Olympians, they might think of being wary, remembering the fate of North Korea's national football team, who were reportedly sent to coal mines after their 7-0 thrashing by Portugal at the 2010 World Cup.



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