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Two Koreas plan joint bid to host 2032 Summer Olympics

Olympic Games News

Two Koreas plan joint bid to host 2032 Summer Olympics

Date : 20 Sep 2018

Pyongyang, DPR Korea, September 20, 2018: North and South Korea have agreed to pursue a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games.

The announcement was made by South Korean president Moon Jae-in at a summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday. It is the third time the two leaders have met this year.

President Moon, who is on a three-day visit to North Korea, said in a statement: “We agreed to cooperate on a bid to jointly host the 2032 Summer Olympics.”

Speaking later at the Mass Games in Pyongyang – celebrating the 70th anniversary of North Korea – Moon, the first South Korean leader to address the North Korean public, said the two countries should “become one”.

No further details were available but South Korea’s sports minister Do Jong-hwan had earlier raised the prospect of a joint-bid by Seoul and Pyongyang.

At a meeting last week of sports ministers from Japan and China in Tokyo, Do said South Korea was thinking of co-hosting the 2032 Olympics with North Korea for regional peace.

“It’s a proposal of hosting the events in Seoul and Pyongyang,” Do was quoted by South Korean news agency Yonhap. The South Korean sports minister also said his country was mooting co-hosting the 2030 Football World Cup with North Korea, China and Japan.

“In this way we can maintain the current atmosphere of peace and can connect Northeast Asia peace with peace on the Korean peninsula,” Do outlined.

South Korea, Japan and China agreed to hold sports ministers’ meetings after the three nations were selected as hosts of three consecutive Olympics in Northeast Asia. South Korea hosted the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in February, Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics and Beijing will be home to the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Athletes from North and South Korea have come together twice at multi-sports Games this year – the Winter Olympics and the 18th Asian Games recently concluded in Jakarta and Palembang. The Koreas marched together at the opening ceremonies of both Games. A unified team played in the women’s ice hockey tournament in Pyeonchang while cross-border teams appeared in women's basketball, rowing and dragon boat racing at the Asian Games.

More unified teams could feature in the future according to Do. “We will ask for support from the Olympic organisers about expanding unified Korean teams and having a joint parade at Tokyo 2020. In order to form joint teams, we need to work together from the qualifying stages. We’ll speak with sports associations and athletes. I’ll also talk with the North Korean sports minister about this,” Do said.

The power of sports in bringing together people has been amplified in Asia recently. Boosted by the success of hosting the 18th Asian Games, Indonesian president Joko Widodo told IOC President Thomas Bach that Jakarta would seriously consider bidding for the 2032 Olympics.

They are likely to face strong competition from Pyongyang and Seoul.

Speaking to the world media after his summit meeting with President Moon, North Korean leader Kim said: “The world is going to see how this divided nation is going to bring about a new future on its own”.

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