North Korea may come on board as joint host; Olympics offers “something more than a sports festival… an opportunity to change the fate of the Korean Peninsula,” says Seoul’s mayor
By The Associated Press
Last Updated: 11/02/19 12:34pm
South Korea has chosen its capital, Seoul, for its bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics, which it hopes to jointly host with rival North Korea as a peace gesture.
South Korea’s Olympic committee announced the decision after a meeting on Monday in which Seoul received 34 of 49 votes, edging out the southern port city of Busan.
The Koreas are expected to officially inform the International Olympic Committee of their intent to co-host the 2032 Olympics on Friday during a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said in a statement: “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.”
While North Korea has yet to formally announce its candidate city for the Olympics, its capital, Pyongyang, is seen as the obvious choice because it is much more developed than other North Korean cities.
The Koreas have often used sports to facilitate diplomacy.
North Korea sent hundreds of people to the Winter Olympics in South Korea’s Pyeongchang in February last year, including Kim’s sister, who conveyed his desire for an inter-Korean summit following tensions over North Korea’s weapons tests.