N Korea: Tokyo's bid a 'serious insult'

North Korea has slammed Tokyo's bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, calling it a "serious insult" to sport amidst fears Japan would ban athletes from the communist state.

    Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea's state-run news broadcaster, was quoted as saying Japan was "keen to give the impression that (it) can host (the) Olympics. This is enough to make a cat laugh."


    "The Japanese bid to make the Olympics their political play-thing is nothing but a serious insult to the sacred Olympic Charter," KCNA added.


    KCNA went on to label Tokyo's bid to host the 2016 Olympics the "height of folly" and, in typically confrontational language, described Japanese Olympic officials as "political dwarfs and dregs".


    Last month, Japan banned three North Korean synchronized swimmers from entering the country to contest the World Cup, prompting the entire North Korean delegation to boycott the event.


    The banning was part of sanctions imposed on North Korea following Pyongyang's test-firing of missiles in July.


    "The Japanese... (would) put pressure upon those countries which incur their displeasure and prevent them from participating in the Olympic Games," said KCNA.


    North Korea's criticism of Tokyo's Olympic bid comes ahead of Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's regional tour to discuss Pyongyang's threat to conduct further nuclear tests.


    Tokyo became the first Asian host of the Summer Games in 1964, while the northern Japanese city of Sapporo hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972.

    SOURCE: Reuters


     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    Ninety-nine years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    Profile: Osama bin Laden

    The story of a most-wanted fugitive and billionaire.