UN pulls out of North Korea Olympic torch ceremony

More politicization of the Beijing Olympics…

The United Nations has withdrawn its staff from the Olympic torch run in North Korea amid concerns that the relay will be used as a propaganda stunt.

The decision followed a heated internal debate among foreign donors, who face a constant battle with Kim Jong-il’s government in their efforts to get food and aid to impoverished people.

It is believed to be the first acknowledgment by the world body that the Olympic torch relay is a political event that can be exploited by unscrupulous governments, diplomats said.


“Unicef originally decided to participate in the Pyongyang leg of the Olympic torch run in response to a request from, and as a demonstration of support for, the International Olympic Movement,” said Christopher de Bono, a spokesman for the organisation.

“However, we are no longer convinced that Unicef’s participation in the run will support the aim of raising awareness of the situation of children in the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of, or North, Korea] and elsewhere,” he said.

“Unicef has decided, in concert with other UN family entities, to withdraw from the Pyongyang relay.”

Read the full article here:
UN pulls out of North Korea Olympic torch ceremony amid fears of propaganda coup
Times of London
Michael Sheridan


One Response to “UN pulls out of North Korea Olympic torch ceremony”

  1. Janus says:

    Whoa, wait…since when does the UN take a principled stand on anything?

    Something else must be going on here…