September 20, 2023 11:13
North Korea, which had not competed in any major international sporting events in several years, returned for its first match in the men's football tournament at the Asian Games in the Chinese city of Jinhua on Tuesday.
It beat Chinese Taipei 2-0 as Ri Jo-guk scored a goal just seven minutes into a match and another goal came from Kim Kuk-jin five minutes later.
It was North Korea's first appearance at an international sporting event since the 2018 Asian Games, as it skipped the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Some 185 North Korean athletes will compete in 17 disciplines including football, track and field, wrestling, shooting, boxing and swimming.
It won 12 gold medals to rank 10th in the overall medal tally at the 2018 Asian Games and is expected to aim for another top 10 finish this time.
Most of its medals are expected to come in weightlifting, gymnastics and shooting.
The Asian Games officially get underway with the opening ceremony in Hangzhou on Saturday.
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