A spokesman for the DPRK Olympic Committee issued the following press statement on July 16:
The Japan sports world has reached the extremes in its shameless act designed to seize Tok Island, part of the inviolable territory of Korea, even in defiance of the sacred idea and spirit of the Olympic movement.
The Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee marked Tok Island, the territory of Korea, as “Japanese territory” on an Olympic torch relay map posted on the official website of the 32nd Olympics and, as this sparked off a flurry of censure and protests, it reeled off such excuses that “it is purely a geographical representation” and “no political statement was intended in its creation”.
It is irrefutable that Tok Island is part of the inalienable territory of Korea in view of international law and from the historical and geographical points of view.
A political issue is inseparable from a territorial issue, and it is a shameless and groundless sophism to insist that it is just a geographical concept that part of the territory of Korea is marked as that of Japan.
The act of abusing the Olympic Games, which are geared to promoting friendship and harmony, for realizing the territorial ambition is a mockery of sportspersons all over the world and the desire of mankind for peace and an intolerable provocation violating the sovereignty of the Korean nation.
Presumably, no other country or sports organization in the world has been as shameless as Japan and the Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee which marked the territory of other country as their land on the Olympic torch relay map and maintained that it is simply a geographical representation and no political statement was included in the creation of the map by taking advantage of being the host country.
Lurking behind the sordid act committed by the Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee by taking advantage of hosting the Olympics is Japan’s dirty scheme to create a precedent for marking Tok Island as “Japan’s territory” at future international sports games and to establish Japan’s dominium over Tok Island in the world.
The International Olympic Committee’s response to the wrong assertion made by the Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee also comes into question.
The IOC categorically opposed marking Tok Island on the Korean peninsula flag to be used by the single north-south team for the 23rd Winter Olympic Games in Phyongchang, south Korea, in February 2018, stating that it is a political issue and that political neutrality must be maintained in sports and Olympics.
In July 2019, the IOC in a letter sent to the chairman of the DPRK Olympic Committee said that it reminded the Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee of its strong stand on political neutrality regarding the description of Tok Island as “Japan’s territory” on the Olympic torch relay map by the organizing committee.
But with an abrupt change in its stand on July 2, it forwarded letters to its members, honorary members and honour members which said that Tok Island issue is the one related to the Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee and, therefore, when the issue is tabled, they should take note of the assertion of the organizing committee.
The DPRK Olympic Committee denounces the sinister behaviour of the Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee of insulting the sacred charter and idea of the Olympics and justifying its territorial claim by using the opportunity of hosting the games, and is compelled to call to account the IOC for its double-dealing behaviour.
The 32nd Olympic Games Organizing Committee must correct the Olympic torch relay map though belatedly, and the IOC should behave with impartiality as befitting the international organization overseeing Olympic movement worldwide.