South KoreaSeoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon told Reuters that Seoul would go ahead with its bid to host the 2036 Summer Olympics but would not seek to compete again.North KoreaPyongyang bid jointly.
Summer 2032 announced at the International Olympic Committee (IOC)OlympicsSouth Korea proposed co-hosting the 2023 Olympic Games with Pyongyang to the International Olympic Committee in 2021 in order to establish better relations with North Korea, before Brisbane, Australia, won the hosting rights.
Oh Se-hoon said in an interview: “I think the strategy for 2032 (co-hosting the Olympics) has failed because of the unpredictable relationship between North and South Korea.”
The idea of a joint South–North Korea bid to host the Olympics is believed to have sprouted from the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. At the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, the two Koreas carried a unified flag and entered the stadium together, and formed a women’s ice hockey team to participate.
IOC President Thomas Bach at the time welcomed the joint bid by North and South Korea, calling it a “historic step”.
However, since then relations between North and South Korea have worsened again. North Korea has tested a record number of missiles in the past year.
North Korea regularly threatens each other with South Korea and its ally the United States. US officials said North Korea is preparing to resume its first nuclear test since 2017.
Oh Se-hoon said that South Korea would be open to the idea of hosting several games in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) or Pyongyang if inter-Korean relations had improved sufficiently by the time of the Olympics.
An official of the South Korean National Olympic Committee (KSOC) said it had not yet received an official declaration of intent from either Seoul or Busan to bid for the 2036 Games.
The official, who did not wish to be named, said whether to bid jointly with North Korea for the Olympics should be decided by the individual cities after consultation with the South Korean central government.
Qatar is one of South Korea’s possible rivals for the 2036 Summer Olympics. Qatar successfully hosted the FIFA World Cup last year and other countries including India, Germany and Egypt are said to be interested. In addition, Mexico also expressed its intention to bid for the 2036 Olympic Games.
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