(ATR) Days before the IOC president meets delegations from South and North Korea, Seoul has pipped Busan to become a candidate city for a potential 2032 joint bid.
Unified Korean team at Asian Games 2018 (ATR)
The South Korean Olympic committee members selected the 1988 Summer Olympic host city in a vote at their annual congress in Jincheon, Yonhap
South Korea is in ongoing talks with the North Korean government to partner for a joint 2032 Olympic bid.
As delegations from the rival Koreas prepare to meet IOC chiefs in Lausanne on Friday for talks about the bid, North Korea has yet to confirm which candidate city it will propose. But capital Pyongyang appears to be the favorite.
“Seoul will cooperate with the national government so that the 2032 Summer Olympics become something more than a sports festival — an opportunity to change the fate of the Korean Peninsula,” Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon was quoted by AP
as saying in a statement.
Sports officials and ministers from the two Koreas have ramped up discussions around the 2032 Olympics since their leaders agreed to launch a bid in September.
The Korean delegations are expected to officially confirm their ambitions to IOC executives in Lausanne. The biggest hurdle towards a joint Koreas’ bid for the Olympics remains North Korea’s reluctance to halt its nuclear weapons program, which has led to U.S.-led global sanctions.
IOC president Thomas Bach will hold talks with sports ministers of North and South Korea and presidents of the countries’ respective NOCs.
After the success of the unified women's ice-hockey team at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics – and both teams marching under a united flag – both Koreas will seek to strike a deal with the IOC to field unified teams at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The IOC says the meeting will “discuss potential joint activities for both NOCs in the run-up to and during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020”.
No media opportunities are planned but a statement will be issued on the IOC’s website.
Reported by Mark Bisson
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