SKorean president calls for NKorean Olympic participation

Taeyang has become an honorary ambassador for Pyeongchang 2018
SKorean president calls for NKorean Olympic participation

25 June, 2017

South Korea's newly appointed Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Do Jong Hwan made the suggestion during a visit to Pyeongchang on Tuesday, the JoongAng Ilbo reported yesterday.

The United States will send around 245 athletes to compete.

However, South Korea has never finished higher than eighth in an Olympic ski jumping event.

North Korea's numerous missile launches that have been aimed to hit Japan or South Korea are also a concern for many worldwide sports communities, according to The New York Times.

Pyeongchang 2018 appear to open to the possibility, with the organisers now reviewing the plans. "The Olympic movement is always about building bridges, never about erecting walls", said an IOC spokesperson.

The month long event kicks off February 8 and ends February 25.

It wouldn't be the first time the two countries have joined forces to host sporting events.

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Majority of Koreans are positive that the PyeongChang Olympics will be successful.

Do said he was also planning to discuss the possibility of forming a unified Korean women's team for ice hockey with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, who is scheduled to attend the closing ceremony of the World Taekwondo Championships in South Korea on June 29.

Moon was elected as the country's President on May 9, after a cronyism scandal led to Park Geun-hye being impeached.

Moon, the son of refugees from North Korea, advocates greater dialogue with their neighbours.

North Korean officials have reportedly declared the country's intent to take part in the Olympics after they boycotted the 1988 Summer Games in South Korea's capital Seoul.

Respondents also chose their most anticipated South Korean athlete of the Winter Games, with two-time Olympic long-track speed skating 500m champion Lee Sang-Hwa receiving the most votes of 79.

As for the idea of forming a unified female ice hockey team, Do said talks should be held with the International Olympic Committee because North Korean athletes have not yet qualified for the winter games.

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