North and South Korea are set to discuss a proposed 2032 Olympic Games bid on Friday, the South Korean Ministry of Unification said Wednesday. A bid, with venues shared between Seoul and Pyongyang, was first approached in September as tensions on the peninsula began to thaw.
According to ANI, the North Korean government initiated the latest discussion.
The meeting is to be be held at the joint liaison office in the North’s border town of Kaesong.
“The government is going to discuss during at these talks the issues related to exchanges and cooperation in sports, primarily, the issue of joint (bid for) hosting the 2032 Summer Olympic Games of South and North (Korea) as well as the joint participation of South and North Korean athletes in the 2020 Summer Olympics and other international sports events,” the ministry said according to a statement.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will elect a 2032 host city in 2025, giving the two Koreas plenty of time to overcome the significant hurdles that the joint bid will face.
Mounting a bid would require an unprecedented level of cooperation and trust between the two nations that have technically been at war since a cease fire ended armed conflict in 1953. Joint bids between any two nations are forbidden by the Olympic Charter, but the IOC could change that as the organization trends toward more sustainable hosting plans.
A Games would also force Pyongyang to open its doors to reporting from the international media, and to welcome athletes and officials without restrictions. Human rights issues will also be a concern.
IOC President Thomas Bach said last month that he would support a joint-Korean bid.
The potential joint bid underlines recently growing cooperation between the two rival nations on the playing field. Both Korea’s fielded a unified ice hockey team at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics held in the South and joined forces at the Asian Games in Indonesia this year.
A Korean bid will join the growing field of cities interested in hosting the the 2032 Games.
Indonesian officials announced last month that they’ll begin to prepare Jakarta for a 2032 bid after staging a successful Asian Games this year.
Shanghai’s deputy director Luo Wenhua announced that the Chinese city could consider a 2032 bid while it sets a course to become a “globally famous” sport city.
Earlier this week Bach said he had received firm interest from Brisbane in Australia as it develops a feasibility study.
Buenos Aires in Argentina is also considering mounting a Summer Olympic bid after successfully hosting the Youth Olympics this month.
Other interest in bidding for the 2032 Games has come from India, Germany, Russia and Egypt. The IOC indicated earlier this year that it has had discussions with at least one interested city and that the “discussion phase” of the cycle has begun.
Paris will stage the 2024 Olympics with Los Angeles set to host in 2028.