South Korea will propose the North a possible joint bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics and the 2030 Fifa World Cup, Seoul’s Sports minister Do Jong-Hwan said on Wednesday.
According to a report by Yonhap News agency, Do made the comments to media in Tokyo, where he is meeting with fellow Japanese and Chinese sports ministers.
“It’s a proposal of hosting the events in Seoul and Pyongyang,” he said.
“The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics showed the Olympic values very well. I hope peace in Northeast Asia can continue through sports. I plan to make this proposal to the North for the settlement of peace'.
According to the sports minister, South Korea intends to make the proposal to North Korean officials at the third inter-Korean summit next week.
Along with South Korea, Germany, Australia, China, India and Indonesia have also expressed their interest on hosting the 2032 Olympics.
S. Korea to propose co-hosting 2032 Olympics with N. Korea: sports minister https://t.co/BY3tsSilKH— Yonhap News Agency (@YonhapNews) 12 September 2018
Possible 2030 World Cup bid
For the 2030 edition of the Fifa World Cup, Do said South Korea plans to propose a co-hosted tournament involving China, Japan and the two Koreas.
“In this way, we can maintain the current atmosphere of peace and can connect Northeast Asia peace with peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
A South American tri-nation bid involving Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay has already been announced, with Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria also considering a joint bid to host the competition.
Recent Korean sports ties
Do’s announcement of a possible joint bid with the North to host the 2032 Summer Olympics and the 2030 World Cup follows an agreement between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the South’s president Moon Jae-in at their summit in April.
Along with political interventions, recent sports ties have helped ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.
For the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony on 9 February, North and South Korea marched together under a unified flag, and a joint team was formed for the women's hockey event.
North Korea and South Korea will form combined teams at the Asian Games in August and march under one flag, as they did at the Winter Olympics. pic.twitter.com/niyIHyUDlq— AJ+ (@ajplus) 18 June 2018
In July, the two nations played four basketball games at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium in Pyongyang. First, mixed games were played, with participants from both countries combined in two teams – Team Peace and Team Prosperity - before South and North teams faced each other, with the South beating the North 81-74 in the women's game, and the North defeating the South 82-70 in the men's encounter.
Last month, a unified Korean 500m women’s dragon boat team delivered a historic gold medal at the Asian Games in Indonesia.
It was the first gold at a major multisport competition for a Unified Korea team.
The division of the Korean Peninsula occurred after World War II, with the United States and the Soviet Union occupying the two parts of the country. North and South Korea remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty. Military tension remains a fundamental obstacle to the improvement of Korean relations.