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AP only agency to capture images of North Korea’s first post-COVID sports delegation

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Ng Han Guan’s and Olivia Zhang’s sleuth work helped AP capture images of a North Korean international sports delegation, believed to be the first since the start of the COVID pandemic. Hong Kong senior producer Raf Wober mentioned the North Korean taekwondo team may be headed to an international competition in Kazakhstan. The question was: How would it get there given the travel restrictions? Reports eventually trickled in to say the North Korean team had crossed into China and were heading for Beijing.

Beijing video producer Zhang quickly checked and found no direct flights were available from there to Astana, where the competition is being held. The Beijing team eventually made the educated guess that their best bet might be a flight heading to Almaty, Kazakhstan. Zhang and China chief photographer Ng were at the airport at 2 a.m. and found the 80-strong North Korean delegation wearing white track suits and checking in at the Air Astana counter.

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