The International Judo Federation (IJF) has cancelled plans to stage its 2017 Junior World Championships in North Korea, with the event now set to be held in Zagreb, Croatia.
Pyongyang was announced as the host city last August, and the event had been due to take place from October 18-22.
The IJF stressed at the time that the event taking place in North Korea would be dependent on political developments. With the country having recently embarked on its latest run of missile tests, a move that has led to international political tension, the IJF has opted to relocate the event to Croatia.
The IJF said that it had met with North Korea’s Sports Ministry and the DPR Korea Judo Association to discuss the issue. The body cited accessibility, safety and security of participants, communications with the outside world and the possibility of live streaming the event as reasons for its decision.
The IJF also described the current international situation of North Korea as “alarming” and said the outcomes are “difficult to predict”.
The body added that several national federations and individuals have been in contact to express their concern over the event, with some having declined participation.
The IJF said its executive committee has opted to postpone the event “hopefully to the near future” but insisted North Korea would only be considered as a host country when its political situation is stable. Dates for Zagreb’s hosting of the event were not confirmed.
In other news, Israel has been announced as the host of the 2018 European Judo Championships. It will mark the first time the country has staged a senior European judo event.