North Korea announced in April that their Olympic team will not appear at the Games in Tokyo, and the reason given is the need to protect athletes from the global public health crisis caused by the coronavirus. It was clear that such a decision would produce consequences, and a verdict arrived a few months later.
The International Olympic Committee has officially suspended North Korea from the Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing in February 2022. The statement states that North Korea violated the rules, which automatically withdraws the suspension.
It remains to be seen how long, as it could be extended and not be closely tied to Beijing alone. However, athletes from North Korea who qualify for Beijing, ie achieve the Olympic norm, could participate in the upcoming Olympic Games, but under special conditions, said the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach.
That would probably mean that, like athletes from Russia, they perform in Tokyo on their own - that the anthem of North Korea is not sung and that athletes from that Asian country do not perform under its flag. North Korea had 10 representatives at the previous Olympic Games held in 2018 in Pyongyang, none in Sochi, Russia, while in 2010 they were represented by two competitors in Vancouver.
If the suspension is extended, athletes from North Korea could be denied participation in the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, or in the Winter Olympic Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo in 2026. Unless they decide to act as independent competitors, which all the world's media give minimal chances.
North Korea is known so far for its specific moves and "different behavior" from other countries. Perhaps this is why things like this did not surprise most, given that North Korea had many strange moves known to the public.
When we say North Korea, we mean Kim Jong Un, their leader who is known for his regime where he has absolute power and freedom of decision, so no one can do anything to him. However, sport is a completely different dimension in which political dogmas should be ignored and a bigger focus placed on sports, socializing, and representing the nation in the best possible way.
We will see if there will be any changes and if North Korea will still make some other moves and change things that are not in their favor this time. It is a pity that many promising athletes are left without the world's biggest competitions and presentations of both the country and themselves in the best possible way.