Do Jong-hwan said South Korea is thinking of co-hosting the Olympics with North Korea for regional peace. Do made the remarks during a press meeting in Tokyo ahead of a sports ministers meeting with his Japanese and Chinese counterparts.
“It’s a proposal of hosting the events in Seoul and Pyongyang,” Do said, adding that such matters could be discussed at the third summit between the South and North in Pyongyang later this month.
For the 2030 FIFA World Cup, Do said South Korea is thinking of co-hosting the top football tournament with Asian neighbors.
“We heard that China is going to make a bid to host the World Cup,” he said. “But we want to make a proposal of co-hosting the event with Asian neighbors like North Korea, China and Japan. In this way, we can maintain the current atmosphere of peace and can connect Northeast Asia peace with peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
When asked about a North Korean art troupe’s performance in South Korea this fall, Do said the government had notified Pyongyang about venues and the time period.
“We told them available times and performance venues in Ilsan, Gwangju and Incheon,” he said. “The North Korea art troupe’s spring performances were held in Seoul and Gangneung. This time, we’re also thinking about staging its performances in Seoul and in one of the other cities.”
Do was scheduled to have bilateral meetings with Gao Zhidan, deputy director of the General Administration of Sport of China, and with Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Japanese minister of sports, for expanding sports cooperation between the countries.
South Korea, Japan and China agreed to hold sports ministers’ meetings after the three nations were selected as the hosts of three consecutive Olympics in Northeast Asia. South Korea this February staged the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, and Beijing will be home to the 2022 Winter Olympics.
“The PyeongChang Winter Olympics showed the Olympic values very well,” he said. “I hope peace in Northeast Asia can continue through sports.”
With Japan, Do said he plans to discuss the participation of unified Korean teams.
“We will ask for support from the Olympic organizers about expanding unified Korean teams and having a joint parade at Tokyo 2020,” he said. “In order to form joint teams, we need to work together from the qualifying stages. We’ll speak with sports associations and athletes. I’ll also talk with the North Korean sports minister about this.”
When asked about the possibility of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visiting Japan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Do said it is a topic that needs further discussion.
“That’s something that related parties need to decide,” he said. “I think we have to keep working on making occasions where sports ministers from South Korea, North Korea and Japan can meet.” (Yonhap)