North Korea to Host 2018 IWF Junior World Championships

With this year’s IWF Junior World Championships taking place in Tbilisi, Georgia, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Executive Board announced that the 2018 IWF Junior World Championships will be help in Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

The announcement spurred some controversy as North Korea’s political and human rights policies have created tension between other countries, including the United States. The United States’ State Department has issued a travel warning advising U.S. citizens to avoid travelling to North Korea citing “serious risk of arrest and long-term detention”. The United States does not maintain an embassy in North Korea, thereby limiting its ability to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in the country.

Following the announcement, USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews issued the following statement, “USA Weightlifting admires the IWF’s ambition to place sport before politics. Together with our coaches, athletes, their parents and relevant authorities, we will evaluate U.S. participation in the 2018 IWF Junior World Championships in Pyongyang.”

Pyongyang was selected over Minsk, Belarus; Eliat, Israel; Anaheim, USA; and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The 2017 IWF Junior World Championships will be held in Tokyo, Japan on June 16-23.