N. Korea's Olympics coverage goes from 15 min to 5 hours

Pyongyang is caught up in the Olympic fever because of the strong performances of its athletes, said Ri Kwang-chol, head of the press delegation from the North's Radio and Television Broadcasting Committee.

According to Yonhap News, Ri said that the North Koreans back home are "excited about [their] athletes' great performances" and are able to watch five hours of daily broadcasts from London.

Initially, North Korea dedicated only 15 minutes of its evening news to Olympic-related stories.

However, coverage appeared to increase after judoka An Kum-ae won the first gold last Sunday and weightlifters Om Yun-chol and Kim Un-kuk followed suit.

Om's feat was noteworthy because he set an Olympic record for lifting three times his weight, joining an exclusive group of weightlifters who have lifted three times their body weight.

Events are shown as delayed telecasts because the North's regular broadcasts end early in the evening.

A non-governmental organisation Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) is helping North Korea produce and broadcast Olympic coverage.

Ri, who is a journalist and part of a six-person delegation in London, also said the North Korean athletes had exceeded expectations, and hoped the delegation could win 15 more golds.

North Korea's record for the most gold medals at a single Olympics is four at Barcelona in 1992.

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