North, South Korea progress unified Tokyo 2020 talks, 2032 Olympic bid
South Korea reportedly asked North Korea to form joint Tokyo 2020 Olympic teams in six or seven sports, and the nations agreed to tell the International Olympic Committee officially of their 2032 Olympic bid intention on Friday.
In September, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-In said in a statement that the countries planned to jointly bid for 2032, and they would look to cooperate in major sports events such as the 2020 Games, without elaborating at the time.
Some more details emerged Friday, particularly regarding creating teams of North and South Korean athletes at the Tokyo Games.
“First of all, our athletes who’ve qualified for the Olympics should not suffer damages if unified teams are to be formed,” an unnamed South Korea Olympic Committee official said, according to Yonhap News Agency. “We also decided to minimize our requests for the IOC or international federations’ help. Instead of thinking about the results at the competitions, we will focus on the process of assembling unified teams that will show the two Koreas’ efforts moving toward one goal.”
The Koreas will send a unified team to the men’s handball world championship in January, it was announced last month.
In PyeongChang, the two nations marched together in the Opening Ceremony behind the Korea Unification flag and fielded a joint women’s hockey team. In the summer, they fielded joint canoeing, rowing and women’s basketball teams at the Asian Games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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