Source AP ©

North Korea sends more than 60 athletes to Beijing Olympics

North Korea is sending more than 60 athletes to next month's Summer Games in Beijing, its second largest Olympic squad ever, state media reported Wednesday.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said the communist nation will compete in more than 10 disciplines during the Aug. 8-24 Olympics, including archery, boxing, wrestling, table tennis and swimming.

"Now they are all full of confidence to display the honor of the (North) with high scores by applying Korean-style competing principles and methods in each game," KCNA said.

The size of the North's squad is the second largest since it sent 75 athletes to the 1992 Games in Barcelona, according to South Korea's Unification Ministry. The North sent 36 athletes to the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The North is sending a larger delegation apparently because of its geographic and political closeness to China, ministry official Lee Jeong-taek said. Beijing is Pyongyang's major ally and a main aid donor to North Korea.

The North's No. 2 official, Kim Yong Nam, is also reportedly attending the opening ceremony for the Beijing Games.

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