North Korea will take part in next two Olympics: IOC President

Adjust Comment Print

President Thomas Bach landed in Pyongyang on Thursday, raising the question of whether he would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during his three-day visit.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly committed to his country participating at Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 during a meeting with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

Bach's trip to Pyongyang comes after the International Olympic Committee played a big part in allowing North Korea to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics last month in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The decision to field a joint South-North women's hockey team was also reached at the Lausanne meeting. He is the first foreign official to meet Kim since the North Korean leader returned earlier this week from a summit in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Associated Press reported that Kim and Bach met in Pyongyang on Friday.

It added that Bach toured the May 1 Stadium and various other sports venues in the North Korean capital.

Tokyo has long maintained a hardline position on negotiations with the North, while Pyongyang in turn has threatened to "sink" Japan into the sea and to turn it into "ashes", sending two missiles flying over the country a year ago.


He said the Pyeongchang Games was "meaningful" in that "it "laid a new chapter of harmony between the South and North", and provided an opportunity to "dramatically thaw frozen relations between the two Koreas".

Bach arrived in Pyongyang on Thursday to discuss development of sports in North Korea and the preparation of its athletes to qualify and participate in upcoming Olympics.

The visit finished with a dinner hosted by the President of the Praesidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, Kim Yong-nam, who had led the DPRK delegation to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. He called for further co-operation with the International Olympic Committee in developing winter sports and other sports activities in North Korea, the agency said.

He added that Kim told him the North's participation at Pyeongchang and marching together with South Korean athletes were an "important contribution to a peaceful dialogue".

The two Koreas have experienced a significant easing in tensions since the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, leading them to set a date to hold their first summit in more than a decade on 27 April.

Comments