Pyongyang: In a bizarre `punishment`, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un could send the athletes, who failed to perform well in just-concluded Rio Olympics, to work in coal mines.
As per the Korea Times, the North Korean leader had ordered the head of the nation's sports commission to return to Pyongyang with at least five golds and 12 other medals.
However, North Korea's 31 athletes, who participated in nine sports, won two gold medals, three silvers and two bronzes in Rio Olympics. In London 2012, Pyongyang's athletes had won four gold medals and two bronzes.
The Telegraph has quoted Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo's Waseda University and an authority on the North Korean leadership, as saying: “Those who won medals will be rewarded with better housing allocations, better rations, a car and maybe other gifts from the regime, but Kim is going to be angry and disappointed at these results.”
"Those he feels have let him down are likely to be punished by being moved to poorer quality housing, having their rations reduced and, in the worst-case scenario, being sent to the coal mines as punishment."
What is going to make Kim more angry is the fact that his rival country South Korea grabbed 21 medals, including nine golds, in the event.