North Korea has withdrawn from next month’s qualifying tournament for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.
This was confirmed by the Asian Football Confederation on Sunday.
North Korea had already pulled out of the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Korea is due to host the remaining fixtures in Group H of the second round of Asia’s preliminary tournament in June.
But North Korean officials have informed them of their intention to withdraw this month.
Prior to the withdrawal, North Korea were in fourth place in the standings after five matches, level on eight points with the South Koreans, who have played one game fewer.