Koreas to bid jointly as 2032 Olympics become instrument of diplomacy
The Olympic Games today became a direct instrument of diplomacy as North and South Korea agreed to pursue a joint bid to host the games in 2032, as part of a summit meeting between South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyeongyang, North Korea today.
At the same time, the two previously antagonistic countries committed to an era of “no war,” with North Korea saying it would close a key missile test facility in the presence of “international experts” and potentially destroy its primary nuclear complex if USA agrees to corresponding measures.
Moon, the first South Korean president to visit Pyongyang since 2007, said: “The era of no war has started. Today the North and South decided to remove all threats that can cause war from the entire Korean peninsula.”
In a statement, the two countries said that they would also “participate jointly” at international competitions including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Intervention by the International Olympic Committee was credited for a historic decision by the teams of North and South Korea to march together at the ceremonies at this year’s PyeongChang winter Olympic Games, and a combined team competed in the women’s ice hockey competition.
The move was regarded as the start of a major softening in the often hostile relations between the two Koreas.
In April, North Korea committed to sending a team to compete at Tokyo 2020 and the Beijing 2022 winter Olympics, and also to send teams to this year's Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires and the winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne in 2020.
At today’s summit, North and South Korea also pledged to create rail and road links between the two countries, put a stop to military drills along the demarcation line dividing the countries and remove 11 guard posts in the demilitarised zone.
USA’s president Donald Trump tweeted: “North and South Korea will file a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics. Very exciting!”
A joint Korean bid to host the games could face competition from Indonesia, India, Australia and China, which have all expressed interest in staging the games.