SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Friday that it would skip next month’s Beijing Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic and actions by “hostile forces,” a largely redundant statement since the country has already been barred from the Games by the International Olympic Committee.In September, the committee suspended North Korea through 2022 for refusing to send a team to the Tokyo Summer Games, citing the pandemic. IOC President Thomas Bach said at the time that individual athletes from North Korea who qualify to compete in Beijing could still be accepted. There is no word of that happening.On Friday, North Korea’s state media said its Olympic Committee and Sport Ministry sent a letter to their counterparts in China to formally notify its last major ally and economic pipeline that it cannot attend the Olympics. The Games open on Feb. 4.“We could not take part in the Olympics due to the hostile forces’ moves and the worldwide pandemic,” the letter said, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.The KCNA dispatch did not elaborate on what the hostile forces are. But Cheong Seong-Chang, analyst at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea, said they most likely referred to the IOC, or


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