Korea official floats idea of co-hosting Asian Games with North
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[February 17, 2018]
By Jane Chung
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - A
South Korean province is considering a proposal to co-host the 2021
Asian Winter Games with North Korea in a bid to strengthen
inter-Korean ties, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said on
Saturday, quoting provincial governor Choi Moon-soon.
Gangwon province, host for the current 2018 Pyeongchang Winter
Olympics, is considering the idea also as a way of making further
use of Olympics venues, Choi was quoted as saying.
North Korea is participating in the Pyeongchang Games at the
invitation of the South, which is using them to help ease tensions
between the two countries, still technically at war.
The host city for the 2021 event has not been decided yet.
A spokesman for South Korea's sports ministry said it "hopes to
continue sports exchanges with North Korea after the Winter Games"
but it had not yet discussed any bid for the 2021 Games.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who held talks with top North
Korean officials at Pyeongchang at the start of the Games, said on
Saturday there was also a growing understanding of the need for
talks between the United States and North Korea.
Washington has been pursuing a policy of isolating North Korea and
exerting maximum pressure on the reclusive state to persuade it to
drop its nuclear and missile weapons program.
"Talks between South and North Korea are making significant progress
... Meanwhile, a shared understanding of holding talks between the
United States and North Korea is growing," Moon told reporters in
"(I) hope the inter-Korean talks could lead to talks between the
U.S. and North Korea and also denuclearisation talks."
Last week, Moon met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo
Jong, who delivered an invitation for Moon to attend a summit in
North Korea "at an early date".
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Choi Moon-soon, governor of Gangwon Province, speaks during an
interview with Reuters in Seoul, South Korea January 15, 2018.
Moon said it was premature to talk about when a summit could take
place. "There is a high expectation of an inter-Korean summit, but
people seem to be getting a bit ahead of themselves," he added.
About the possibility of co-hosting the 2021 Asian Winter Games, the
Gangwon governor said he would start mapping out details once the
Olympic Games end and that the proposal would also utilize North
Korea's Masikryong ski resort.
Prior to the Winter Olympics, the two Koreas held a joint training
program at the Masikryong resort.
The proposal, if put forward, would need approval from South Korea's
A unification ministry spokeswoman said it had no immediate comment.
Choi could not be immediately reached for comment, but his office
said the issue had not been discussed and was the governor's
(Reporting by Jane Chung and Soyoung Kim in PYEONGCHANG, Additional
reporting by Heekyong Yang in SEOUL,; Editing by Mark Bendeich)
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