Choi Moon-soon, governor of Gangwon province, which will host the Pyeongchang Winter Games, told CNN that while hosting events in North Korea would be impossible, he will be meeting with a North Korean official next week.
“We don’t have enough time to organize between the two Korean teams, but I am scheduled to meet North Korean (International Olympic Committee) member Chang Ung next week — I will propose positive participation in the Pyeongchang Olympic Games.”
Speaking to reporters Friday, Chang said he was “aware that much has been discussed in the media” about a potential co-hosting agreement, and said he would pass on what he was told to Pyongyang.
Choi said his proposal — which includes cooperation on public performances and ice hockey — would only work if the IOC agreed to allow North Korea a “wild card” entry into the games, for which it has not qualified.
Do Jong-hwan, South Korean minister of culture, sports and tourism, said he would “push ahead for discussions with the IOC and other relevant entities” in the hopes of hosting an “Olympics for peace.”
On Friday, South Korea tested a ballistic missile which officials said would be capable of “incapacitating North Korean nuclear and missile treats.”
Speaking after the test, Moon said while he prefers dialog with Pyongyang, such a stance is only possible “if we have strong defense.”
Earlier this month, Pyongyang rejected an offer by a South Korean civic group to provide anti-malaria supplies, the first cross border exchange approved by Seoul since January 2016.
In a commentary Friday, North Korean state-controlled newspaper Rodong Sinmun said that if South Korea pursues peace with the North, it should “stop all hostilities,” including sanctions.
“What (North Korea) demands is that the north and the south open a new phase of national reconciliation and unity, recognizing each other as partner of reunification and joining their hands,” the paper said.
“If the South Korean authorities continue to go for confrontation, refusing to accept this will and intention, we will make our own option.”