Koreas to deliver letter to IOC in February to express interest in joint Olympic bid
North and South Korea are set to deliver a letter to the International Olympic Committee in February next year, expressing their interest in jointly bidding to host the 2032 Olympic Games, South Korea’s sports ministry said today.
An official from South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said: “We tried to deliver the letter of intent to the IOC in early January, but North Korea has yet to confirm its schedule. IOC President Thomas Bach then asked whether the two Koreas could visit the IOC headquarters on February 15.”
South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to pursue the joint Olympics bid at their summit in Pyongyang in September.
At the time of that meeting, 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.
In a statement, the two countries said that they would also “participate jointly” at international competitions including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Intervention by the IOC 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 Olympics where 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.
The 2032 Olympics are unlikely to be awarded until 2025, with India, Indonesia, Buenos Aires, Egypt and the Australian state of Queensland all considered early contenders.