Lausanne, Switzerland: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) expressed regret Thursday after the United Nations refused to lift a ban on sports goods exports to North Korea.
The UN's sanctions committee on Wednesday approved measures allowing aid groups and UN bodies to gain exemption status from sanctions adopted to end North Korea's nuclear programme. Sporting goods were excluded, however.
"The IOC has noted with regret that the United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee has not granted an exemption on sporting goods for North Korean athletes," the IOC said in a statement.
"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."
The IOC was active in paving the way for isolated North Korea to take part in this year's Winter Olympics, staged in Pyeongchang, South Korea, triggering a thaw in inter-Korean ties.