S. Korean PM heads to Sochi for sports diplomacy

By 정주원
  • Published : Feb 20, 2014 - 14:49
  • Updated : Feb 20, 2014 - 15:25
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won embarked on a trip to Sochi Thursday for talks with his Russian counterpart and the international Olympics committee chief to promote PyeongChang as the host for the next games, his office said.

During his five-day visit to the Russian city of Sochi, Chung is scheduled to meet with International Olympics Committee President Thomas Bach to explore ways to cooperate for the successful holding of the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018.

South Korea's alpine city of PyeongChang won the bid to host the Olympics in its third try, edging out Munich and Annecy, France.

In his planned talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday, diverse issues of mutual concern are to be on the table, including ways to boost exchanges in the sports field and the Rajin-Khasan development project, the Russian-led rail and port development venture in North Korea, according to his office.

While cheering for South Korean athletes, Chung will also attend the closing ceremony on Sunday, which "is expected to be a chance to ask for support and interest from the international community in the upcoming winter event in South Korea," his office said.

Big-name figures from the world, including the president of Slovenia, king of Norway, and prime ministers from Finland and Armenia, are scheduled to attend the closing ceremony, it added.

PyeongChang will be the first South Korean host of a Winter Games. Seoul hosted the Summer Olympics in 1988. (Yonhap)