One year after the success of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeong-Chang, South Korea, where both North and South Korea marched together under the Korean unification flag in the Games’ opening ceremonies, discussions between the two nations continue as both seek to find new opportunities to unify through sport.
On Friday, February 15th, delegates from both North and South Korean National Olympic Committees will meet at the International Olympic Committee Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, to discuss potential joint activities for both NOCs for the time remaining before the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, per a press release from the IOC. Attending the meeting will be the Presidents of each NOC, as well as the Sports Ministers of each nation, as well as representatives from the IOC.
In January 2018, as the final preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games were drawing to a close and athletes were preparing to compete in Pyeong-Chang, both North and South Korea witnessed a turning point in their relationship, and amiable diplomacy between the two sovereigns resumed. While the two Koreas had marched together in the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games prior 2018, Pyeong-Chang represented the first time athletes from the two nations have competed together in the Olympics with the unified Korean women’s hockey team. In all other sports the two Koreas remained separate.
Regarding the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, North and South Korea have already announced their intentions to field three combined teams with athletes from both nations. South Korean Sports Minister Do Jong Hwan stated in December of 2018 that the combined teams they would like to see in Tokyo would compete in women’s basketball, canoeing, and rowing, with the possibility of also combining for table tennis and judo, and potentially more, reports insidethegames.biz.
Furthermore, the AFP reports that IOC President Thomas Bach has stated the objective is to not only unify the North and South Korea at the Olympics, but also during the qualifying phases.
The full press release reads:
IOC to convene working meeting with delegations from South Korea and North Korea on 15 February 2019 – Information for the media
One year after the successful Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will organise a working meeting to discuss further sports cooperation between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
During this tripartite meeting, the IOC and the two Korean delegations, composed of representatives of their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and governments led by the two NOC Presidents and the two Sports Ministers, will discuss potential joint activities for both NOCs in the run-up to and during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The meeting will take place at the IOC Headquarters on 15 February 2019, from 9.30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
As this is a working meeting, no media opportunities are planned.
A statement will be released shortly after the meeting on olympic.org.
The IOC will set up an ENG camera pool and photographer, and will share the footage and photographs with interested media:
- For video footage, please contact Reuters.
- For photographs, please contact Keystone.
A video news release will be available a few hours after the meeting on the IOC Newsroom.
Video News Release: IOC President Thomas Bach reveals IOC remains at the heart of the peace process between North and South Korea a year on from PyeongChang 2018.