The president of the national Olympic body will serve as an interim head of South Korea's first Winter Games, officials said Wednesday, two days after a sudden resignation of the former chief organizer.
Kim Jung-haeng, who heads the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC), will also oversee operations of the organizing committee of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, an alpine town about 180 kilometers east of Seoul, until it finds a full-time replacement for the former president of the committee, Kim Jin-sun.
Kim abruptly resigned from the post on Monday, with about a year left on his second term as the head of the organizing committee. Kim denied speculation that he'd faced external pressure to step down, saying he felt new leadership was necessary to carry PyeongChang's efforts going forward.
According to the organizers, the committee has six vice presidents, and Kim Jung-haeng is the most senior of the half-dozen at 70. Under the committee's rules, when there is a vacancy at the top, the eldest of the vice presidents is to take over in the interim until a replacement is named. Kim will be debriefed on PyeongChang's preparations on Thursday, the organizers said.
The organizers also said they will operate an emergency task force and a 24-hour situation room to deal with the power vacuum. Two of the organizing committee's vice presidents, Kwak Young-jin and Kim Sang-pyo, will act as co-heads of the task force. (Yonhap)