The IJF had been hoping to stage the World Championships in North Korea ©IJF

North Korea will not host the 2017 Junior World Judo Championships after the International Judo Federation (IJF) decided to move them to Zagreb in Croatia. 

In August last year, North Korea's capital Pyongyang was awarded the event, which was scheduled to take place from October 18 to 22.

One of the conditions for the IJF Executive Committee was that "if the global world situation does not allow the organisation of the Championship, other solutions will be offered".

The secretive country is currently embroiled in another surge of tension with neighbours South Korea after a series of missile tests.

South Korea's relations with China have also soured after the controversial deployment of an American missile defence system in the country, ostensibly in response to the North Korean threat.

The IJF have now relocated the event away from the country, which has also been involved in a highly fraught exchange of words and posturing with American President Donald Trump over its desire for nuclear weapons.

"One of the conditions that was always reminded during the preparation phase was a stable international situation of the country," an IJF statement read.

"At present, this situation is alarming, and the outcomes are difficult to predict.

"A number of countries, National Federations and individuals concerned communicated with the IJF, via formal or informal channels, that they are worried about this event.

"Some of them declined participation, others expressed concern regarding the participation of their children at this event.

"In light of all the above and with the uncertainty surrounding the international relations of DPR Korea in the coming months, the Executive Committee of the International Judo Federation decided to postpone this event hopefully to the near future, but only when the political situation is stable at an international level and the outstanding conditions are entirely fulfilled."

IJF President Marius Vizer told insidethegames postponing the event was possible last month ©Twitter
IJF President Marius Vizer told insidethegames postponing the event was possible last month ©Twitter

Asked by insidethegames during a live Twitter Q&A session about the progress of preparations for the Junior World Championships last month, IJF President Marius Vizer said: "We are in the process of re-evaluating this opportunity and probably we will postpone until a more peaceful period."

On awarding the event last year, Vizer claimed the event could "open a new era for developing relations at all levels".

"One of the goals of sport and particularly judo is to build bridges between nations and cultures," he said at the time.

"We have the ability to bring peace and friendship. 

"We can help to grow the hopes of younger generations. 

"Through this historic event, we can further strengthen judo in North Korea, even though it is already a highly-respected sport."

The IJF said they remain committed to promoting peace through their events, as well as ensuring the best conditions for athletes.

The governing body also claim several further issues were also uncertain regarding North Korea.

These include air accessibility, communication with the outside world and the possibility of live streaming the event.

Several international flights to Pyongyang have been cancelled.