The two Koreas reaffirmed their plan to host the 2032 Olympics. The large-scale event would require an unprecedented level of cooperation, resources, and a greater openness by an isolated Pyongyang.
North and South Korea announced on Wednesday that they will submit a joint bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics. The announcement was included in a joint statement, following a summit in Pyongyang between the North's leader Kim Jong-Un and the South's President Moon Jae-in.
"The South and North agreed to actively participate jointly in international competitions including the 2020 Summer Olympics and to cooperate in bidding for the South-North joint hosting of the 2032 Summer Olympics," the statement read.
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Co-hosting such a large-scale event would require an unprecedented level of cooperation and mutual trust from both governments in the Korean peninsula, who are technically still at war and don't possess standard diplomatic channels. The event would also require a degree of openness and greater financial resources, which the hermit North Korean nation currently lacks.
The joint bid by the two Koreas became a reality when the North agreed to participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The event triggered a diplomatic warming of relations, where athletes from both countries marched together at the opening ceremony under the unification flag and fielded a joint women's ice hockey team.
In addition to the 2032 bid, officials from South Korea have hinted at cooperation for the 2030 FIFA World Cup. South Korean sports minister Do Jong-hwan told local media that a a co-hosted tournament involving China, Japan and the two Koreas, could also be put on the table.
"In this way, we could maintain the current momentum for peace and expand peace on the Korean peninsula to the whole region", Do said.
Other countries that have expressed their interest to to host the 2032 Games include India and Indonesia. The IOC selection for the 2032 host will be held in 2025.
The upcoming 2020 Summer Olympic Games will take place in Tokyo, the 2024 edition in Paris and 2028 in Los Angeles.
jcg/ (dpa, AFP)