Thursday, 4 January 2018

We're Willing to Co-host the World with North Korea, claim PyeongChang 2018 Organisers

PyeongChang 2018 president Lee Hee-beom has reaffirmed that plans are in place to accommodate North Korea at next month’s winter Olympic Games, should talks scheduled for next week prove successful.



The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as PyeongChang 2018, is a major international multi-sport event scheduled to take place from 9 to 25 February 2018 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea.

South Korea Tuesday proposed talks with North Korea amid the long-running dispute over its weapons programmes, with the meeting set to focus on participation at the 2018 Games as a tool to enhance diplomatic relations.

South Korea has long been targeting its home Olympic Games as a means to boost cross-border relations. In his New Year’s speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would be keen to send a team to compete at Pyeongchang 2018, adding he would be open to broader negotiations but that his country would proceed with “mass producing” nuclear warheads.

South Korea’s Unification Minister, Cho Myong-gyon, has said talks have been proposed for January 9 at the border village of Panmunjom. Discussion is expected to be focused on North Korea’s participation at the 2018 Games, which run from February 9-25, and would represent the first such dialogue since a vice-ministerial meeting held in December 2015.

Local organising committee chief Lee on Wednesday) said a cruise ship has already been readied to transport and accommodate North Korean athletes and officials, should the country decide to participate.

“We're making preparations in case North Korea sends not only its athletes but a cheering squad and support staff as well,” Lee (pictured) said, according to the AFP news agency. “The International Olympic Committee has also said several times that it would support North Korea's participation.”

Kim Kyung-sung, who leads the South-North Korea Inter-Korean Sports Association, has said he believes Pyongyang will send a delegation to Pyeongchang based on the results of a meeting with North Korean officials in China last month.

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