Bach calls meeting to decide details of North Korea's Olympics participation
Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee president, today called for a meeting to decide on the participation of North Korean athletes at next month’s winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, following yesterday’s proposal that North Korea will send a team to compete at the games.
The IOC said in a statement today: “In order to decide on the proposals, the IOC will convene a four-party meeting on Saturday 20 January 2018 at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. The participants will be a delegation from the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee and delegations from the NOCs of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, all led by their respective presidents, as well as high-ranking government officials and the IOC Members in both countries. The meeting will be chaired by the IOC President.”
The move follows a meeting between Bach and Chang Ung, the North Korean IOC member, which itself followed the news that North Korea would send a team to compete at the games in the wake of the first high-level talks for two years involving officials from the two Koreas.
The proposal is for a North Korean delegation to PyeongChang to include athletes, officials and supporters, while South Korea also proposed holding family reunions during the games for people separated by the partition of the two countries after the Korean War of 1950 to 1953.
The IOC continued: “The meeting will have to take a series of essential decisions, including the number and names of athletes and officials from the NOC of the DPRK, since all the deadlines for registration have already passed. The IOC will also have to decide on the format of such participation, including questions related to the official protocol (flag, anthem, ceremonies, uniform, etc.).”
Bach said: “I warmly welcome the joint proposals by the governments of the ROK and DPRK, which have been applauded by so many other governments worldwide. This is a great step forward in the Olympic spirit and in the spirit of the Olympic Truce Resolution passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Now the IOC must take the decisions to make this political commitment a reality.”