North Korea & South Korea agree to host 2032 Olympics, to formally inform IOC
Seoul, Nov 3: South Korea and North Korea are set to extend their new-found bonhomie further as they agreed on Friday, November 2, to formally inform the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of their wiillingness to co-host the 2032 Olympic Games.
The two countries which are technically at war still since there was no formal pact to end their hostilities in 1953, reached the agreement during a sports-related discussion in North Korea's border town of Kaesong, South's news agency Yonhap reported.
The two Koreas have been striving for peace in the highly militarised Korean Peninsula despite obstacles that pop up time and again. The leaderships of the two countries have already had a number of high-profile meetings and the North Korean leader - Kim Jong-un, has also met the presidents of US and China, respectively, over the past few months.
The latest was the first sports talks between the two neighbours in four months and the they issued a joint communiqué detailing the areas on which they cooperate, the report added.
In February, North and South Korean teams marched under a united Korean flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as a symbolic break in their uneasy ties over Pyongyang's nuclear programme.
The two nations also said that they will be looking to field a joint at the men's handball world championships in Denmark and Germany early next year, Yonhap reported.
It also said that they two countries have agreed to form unified teams to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and to work with the IOC and other relevant bodies to make that a reality.
The two sides first expressed their willingness to hold the 2032 Olympics after the summit between the top leaders from either countries - President Moon Jae-in and Kim, on September 19.
The IOC was excited with the idea as its president - Thomas Bach - said at the time that the body "welcomes very much" the intention of the two Koreas to jointly host the mega event, something that hasn't happened ever.
The formal bidding process for the distant Olympic is yet to begin.