International Olympic Committee IOC North Korea Pyeongchang 2018 South Korea Winter Olympics

North Korea could host some 2018 Winter Olympic events, South Korean minister suggests

June 22, 2017

Sports minister for South Korea, Do Jong-hwan, has suggested that North Korea could host some of the events at next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang to ease political tensions across the border.

Local media reported that Do will broach the subject of moving some skiing events north of the border when he meets International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach later this month, as well as discussing the proposal with Jang Woong, North Korea’s delegate to the IOC.

It’s reported that Do sees the Masikryong ski resort as a possible Winter Olympic venue.

Do also hinted that a combined Korean ice hockey team could also compete at the Games, which take place in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang in February 2018.

Tensions have escalated between the two nations over recent years due to several missile launches and North Korea initiating a nuclear weapons test.

There was also widespread anger from the international community this week following the death of US student Otto Warmbier after his return from almost 17 months in a North Korean prison.

But Do was hopeful that through the Games, there would be a reduction in antagonism on either side of the border.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to thaw lingering tensions as we try to bring North Korea on board,” he said.

North Korea do not have any qualified athletes for Pyeonchang, however that would change if Do’s plan for a combined ice hockey team came to fruition.

Pyongyang boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics, both held in Seoul, but has since taken part in competitions south of the border, most recently the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

Do also suggested earlier this month that a combined bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2030 would help to bring “peace” between the two nations.

By Christian Radnedge

International Olympic Committee IOC North Korea Pyeongchang 2018 South Korea Winter Olympics