Published with the typically unwieldy title of “Let Us Usher in a New Golden Age of Building a Sports Power in the Revolutionary Spirit of Paektu,” the statement called on the ruling party to help athletes win at the Olympics, world championships and other international contests.

“Only sportspeople can cause the flag of our republic to be hoisted in the sky of other countries in peace time,” it said.

North Korea didn’t even have a roster for Pyeongchang until last month. Only two of the 22 athletes that ended up coming to the Olympics had qualified in pre-Games’ competitions. It entered seven men and 15 women, all but three of the women were in ice hockey on a combined North-South team, which gave up 22 goals and scored just once in its first four games.