Koreas to discuss Olympic hosting

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North and South Korea will discuss the details for their joint bid for the 2032 Olympics, following on from September meetings between the two leaders (AFP Photo)

SEOUL — North and South Korea will discuss the details for their planned joint bid for the 2032 Olympics later this month to follow up on an ambitious agreement reached between their leaders in September.

The radical concept, which would require an unprecedented level of cooperation and mutual trust on the long-divided Korean peninsula, was included in a joint statement issued after a September summit between the North’s leader Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang.

“The South and North agreed to discuss the issue of South-North joint hosting of the 2032 Summer Olympics around the end of the month at the joint liaison office,” read a joint statement issued after a high-level meeting Monday.

No further details were given.

Pyongyang boycotted the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics after it demanded co-hosting rights and negotiations fell apart over how to share the events, but its decision to participate in this year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games triggered a dramatic diplomatic turnaround on the peninsula.

It came after tensions mounted the previous year, with the North carrying out multiple missile launches and its most powerful nuclear test to date, and Kim trading personal insults and threats of war with United States President Donald Trump.

The February Games saw athletes from the two Koreas march together at the opening ceremony behind a unification flag showing an undivided peninsula, in women’s ice hockey.

Kim sent his sister, Kim Yo Jong, to Pyeongchang as his personal envoy, and the two leaders have since met three times as part of an ongoing diplomatic rapprochement.

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