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IOC disappointed UN won't grant North Korea sports exemption

In this July 26, 2018 photo, girls dance in a studio at the Mangyongdae Children's Palace in Pyongyang, North Korea. Mangyongdae Children's Palace is for talented school children to attend extracurricular classes and a popular place for tourists to visit during their stay in the capital. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- IOC President Thomas Bach says he is disappointed the United Nations will not allow sports equipment to be sent to North Korea.

The International Olympic Committee's request was rejected by the U.N. Security Council Sanctions Committee.

Bach says "this makes it more difficult for the IOC to accomplish its mission to bring athletes from all over the world together to promote understanding and friendship regardless of political background or any other differences."

In a statement, Bach added that "it is all the more disappointing because the exemption asked for the easing of restrictions on sporting equipment only for a very limited number of athletes."

The IOC played a key role in allowing North Korea to participate in the Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea this year. Bach says the IOC will "continue to contribute to peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula and beyond through sport."

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