PyeongChang Post -- Unified Korea for Olympics Pitched; U.N. Praise; Presidential Involvement
North and South Korea enter as one country for the ceremonies at major sporting events throughout the world. (Getty Images)
Inter-Korean Team Pitched for 2018
South Korea will consider forming a joint Olympic team with North Korea for the 2018 Winter Games.
The Korea Times
reports that both parties of the National Assembly agreed to pursue the possibility on Friday, two days after PyeongChang was awarded hosting rights to 2018 at the IOC Session in Durban.
The agreement was reached as leaders from the ruling and opposition parties met to map out the transition from a successful Olympic bid to a successful staging of the Games.
One lawmaker even demanded his colleagues propose a joint hosting of the Olympics with North Korea.
The peacemaking potential of South Korea’s first Winter Games was a key component of PyeongChang’s candidature.
“The Winter Olympics can succeed only if it relates itself to peace and unification,” Democratic Party floor leader Jin Pyo Kim said during the meeting.
Whether the host country’s neighbor to the north will welcome Friday’s overtures remains to be seen.
Talks began for a joint team at the 2008 Olympics, but ultimately fell through.
U.N. Praise for PyeongChang
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Korean president Myung Bak Lee for PyeongChang’s winning the 2018 Olympics.
According to Korean media, Ban called Lee who was making state visits to Africa after leaving the IOC Session.
Ban congratulated Lee on securing "such a big margin," a Lee spokesperson
Ban Ki Moon was honored by the IOC for his work as U.N. Secretary General in May. (IOC)
told the Yonhap News Agency, who added the international community was surprised by the victory. Ban praised Lee for his leadership in the race.
The Korean-born Secretary General “said he is proud of his native nation”, the news agency reported.
There will be two Korean presidents for the PyeongChang Olympics.
A report in The Chosun Ilbo says the 18th president’s term will end at midnight on Feb. 24 2018. The 19th president will be inaugurated early on the 25th, the day of the closing ceremony.
“It is unclear whether the Pyeongchang bid committee took this into consideration when it finalized the schedule for the Olympics” the daily writes.
The paper also says there are predictions both presidents will attend the closing ceremony.
The 2018 Olympics are a top priority for the Korean government.
Embattled Samsung chair Kun Hee Lee used the 2018 PyeongChang bid to smooth relations with Korean President Lee
Korean newspapers are beginning to editorialize on the proper way to organize the Olympics.
The Chosun Ilbo weighed in Friday
, as did The Hankyoreh
However the Games are organized, PyeongChang is "ideal" for the Games
, says an article in The Chosun Ilbo.
Written by Ed Hula III.
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