Sports Minister: Seoul Mulls Co-Hosting 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics With N Korea

Getty Images
Getty Images

25 June, 2017

Pyeongchang 2018 will discuss plans for North Korea to stage competition during next year's Winter Olympic Games following a suggestion from the Government.

A 13-hour time difference between NY and South Korea could actually work to NBC's advantage for showing live events such as skiing and figure skating in USA prime time, Zenkel said, adding that events for US ski racers Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin should be a draw.

It is the only one ski resort in the North and the brainchild of the country's leader Kim Jong Un.

Meanwhile, Yonhap News Agency quoted the minister as saying during the visit that North Korea's participation in the games would help make the 2018 Pyeongchang event a "Peace Olympics", a term used by Moon during his election campaign.

The Paralympic Games take place March 9 to March 18.

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"That is not something the two sides can decide", said Mr Jang told reporters, when he was asked about North Korea potentially hosting Olympic events.

Moon made the comments during the opening ceremony of the world taekwondo championships in the South Korean town of Muju, where a North Korean delegation led by International Olympic Committee member Chang Ung was also present. His parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, said their son received "awful torturous mistreatment" while in North Korea.

Mr Do also suggested forming an inter-Korean women's ice hockey team to compete at the Winter Games, which open in February.

The overture is part of a broader effort by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to engage with Pyongyang, particularly through sports. But talks broke down and the North boycotted the Games.

However, the pivot towards reconciliation with North Korea could raise eyebrows in the U.S., where President Donald Trump's early days in office have been marked by heightened tension with the communist state. In soccer, the North Koreans haven't fared as well. USA officials arranged for his release last week, but Warmbier arrived home in OH in a coma-like state with severe brain damage.

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