The capital of South Korea Seoul formally notified the International Olympic Committee on Thursday of its desire to co-organize the 2032 Olympics with Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.
Seoul still dreams of a 2032 Olympics co-hosted with the enemy northern brother. South Korean news agency Yonhap revealed that South Korean leaders have officially communicated to the IOC their willingness to host the event along with Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. The IOC said in February that Brisbane was its preferred candidate for hosting the 2032 Games, adding that it would start a “targeted dialogue” with the organizers of Australia’s bid.
But the Seoul municipality on Thursday urged the Olympic body to reconsider the candidacy of the two Koreas to host the Games, agreed at a summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong. One in September 2018, when the two countries were experiencing a period of relaxation, according to Yonhap.
“Between the two Koreas, relations are very fluctuating, we go from warming to cooling and sport can be the marker to show that things are going well even if it will not lead to reunification.”
“There is a real co-organization project, confirms to the Figaro Pascal Boniface, director of the Institute of International and Strategic Relations, insisting on the significant role of sport in relations between the two neighboring countries. Sports diplomacy is used to make connections that are more difficult politically. Between the two Koreas, relations are very fluctuating, we go from warming to cooling and sport can be the marker to show that things are going well even if it will not lead to reunification. “
The joint bid emphasizes its peacebuilding potential, as well as a “combination of advanced technology and Korean culture,” the news agency said. North Korea has not publicly commented on this candidacy, which comes against a backdrop of very cold relations with its neighbor to the south.
The two countries have not had an official discussion for more than two years. Last week, Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of Kim Jong Un, called the South Korean president “a parrot raised by the United States”, days after a cautious speech by Moon Jae-in.
South Korea hosted the Summer Games in Seoul in 1988, then the Winter Games in Pyeongchang in 2018. On this last occasion, the delegations of the two Koreas marched under a united flag. North Korea has never hosted the Olympics.
“The IOC loves to show itself as the body that allows the pacification of relations but they know that betting on the duration of a North Korean commitment is a little delicate”
It remains to be seen whether the IOC will be sensitive to this appeal launched when Australia seems in an excellent position to organize the event and the situation in the two Koreas remains fragile and unstable. “It’s quite easy to make a joint declaration, co-organizing an international event is a long-term process, but North Korea’s changes in position can disrupt these processes. They may very well say: “we agree to do this with you” and change their mind six months later. The IOC loves to show itself as the body that allows the pacification of relations but they know that betting on the duration of a North Korean commitment is a little delicate, ”concludes the IRIS expert.