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U.N. again blocks shipment of sports gear to North Korean athletes

Olympic leaders expressed disappointment Thursday after the United Nations once again blocked their efforts to send sports equipment into Noth Korea.

The International Olympic Committee has been seeking to provide the equipment to North Korean athletes who are training to compete in the 2020 Summer Games.

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International sanctions against the country do not allow for such shipments and the IOC has failed in numerous attempts to secure an exemption from the U.N. Security Council Sanctions Committee.

The denial “makes it more difficult for the IOC to accomplish its mission to bring athletes from all over the world together to promote understanding and friendship regardless of political background or any other differences,” IOC President Thomas Bach told the Associated Press.

The U.S. has played a key role in denying the requests, according to multiple news reports.

The U.N. had approved similar exemptions before North Korea’s last-second participation in the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.

North and South Korea recently agreed to form combined teams and march together at the Asian Games later this month.

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