(ATR) South Korea will propose a North and South Korean 2032 Summer Olympics bid at the fifth Inter-Korean Summit later this month.
South Korean President Moon Jae-In will travel to Pyongyang, North Korea on September 18-20 for a third summit this year with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Moon and Kim met for a summit in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas shortly after the 2018 Winter Olympics in April, followed by another one-day summit in May to discuss the proposed U.S.-North Korean summit.
Do Jong-hwan, South Korea’s sports minister, told journalists in South Korea that a joint 2032 Olympics would be proposed during the summit.
"Seoul and Pyongyang would co-host the games," Do was quoted as saying by Yonhap.
The proposal for a joint Korean Olympic bid was first floated by the South Korean Democratic Party and reported by Korean media in late August. In local reports, party leaders said that the sports ministry was considering proposing a joint bid at the Inter-Korean summit, but the agenda had not been finalized.
Ahn Min-suk, chairman of the sports and culture committee in South Korea’s national assembly, proposed forming a "joint promotion committee," according to Money Today News.
The report also quoted Ahn as saying that there were discussions of a joint Korean bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup, but priority shifted to the Olympics.
The IOC has allocated the next two Summer Olympic Games to Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028. Bidding for the 2032 Olympics is not expected to open for a number of years, and the Games would be awarded in 2025 according to the traditional seven year timeline. So far both Indonesia and India have expressed interest in hosting the event.
According to Do, a FIFA World Cup bid is not entirely off the table. He said that South Korea could propose a 2030 bid with China, Japan, and North Korea.
"In this way, we could maintain the current momentum for peace and expand peace on the Korean peninsula to the whole region," Do was quoted as saying.
North Korea and South Korea formed joint teams at the 2018 Winter Olympics and Asian Games, the first such teams in multi-sport competitions. The joint Korean teams won four medals, including a gold in Dragon Boat, at the Asian Games.
A Japanese lawmaker returning from Pyongyang for the country’s 70th anniversary celebrations told the Asahi Shimbun that North Korea will attend the 2020 Olympics. Japan and North Korea have fraught diplomatic relations stemming from North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens in the 1970's and '80's.
The IOC has said that Japan cannot bar North Korean athletes and accredited delegates from participating in the Games, should they choose to attend. However any political delegations outside of the Olympics remain at the discretion of the host country’s government.
"North Korea intends to participate [at Tokyo 2020] and wants to cooperate, with both South and North Korea joining hands," Antonio Inoki, a member of Japan’s upper house, told reporters in Beijing according to the Asahi Shimbun.
Written by Aaron Bauer
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