South Korean president discusses peace, joint Olympics with IOC chief
South Korean President Moon Jae-in discussed a joint Korean bid for the 2032 Summer Games with the world's top Olympic official Wednesday, 26 September 2018, emphasising the need for an early dialogue on the issue.
Moon met with Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), at the United Nations headquarters in New York, prior to his keynote speech at the U.N. General Assembly. Their meeting came a week after Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to pursue a joint bid for the 2032 Olympics, following the summit in Pyongyang. Bach said at the time the IOC "welcomes very much the intention" of the two Koreas to jointly host the Olympic Games.
In New York, Moon stressed the importance of an early coordination among all relevant parties to make the Olympic co-hosting possible. No Olympic Games, Summer or Winter, have been shared by two countries. Moon also thanked Bach and the IOC for kicking off a cycle of events that has led to recent peace developments on the Korean Peninsula.
"The world may not realize this yet, but President Bach and the IOC deserve a lot of credit for surprising changes of late by helping North Korea participate in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics," Moon said, referring to the first Winter Games hosted by South Korea in February this year. The Koreas marched in behind one flag at the opening ceremony and assembled a joint women's hockey team.
Moon also told Bach that during his latest summit in Pyongyang, Kim Jong-un also expressed his gratitude for the role played by Bach and the IOC. Bach responded that the IOC is always open to the idea of having an early dialogue and said a joint Korean hosting of the 2032 Olympics will complete the circle that began at PyeongChang 2018.The Koreas are also looking to field unified teams in multiple sports at the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. According to an IOC statement released after the meeting, Bach told Moon that the IOC is working with the national Olympic committees of the two Koreas on joint teams and other activities during Tokyo 2020.
Source: Yonhap English News