Busan Loses to Seoul for 2032 Olympic Bid

  • By Sung Jin-hyuk, Joo Hyung-sik

    February 12, 2019 13:25

    Seoul has beaten Busan as the candidate city for a combined Olympic bid by the two Koreas in the distant summer of 2032.

    The South Korean Sport and Olympic Committee on Monday voted in favor of Seoul with 34 votes against 15 for the southern port city.

    It will be the capital's second bid after hosting the 1988 Summer Olympics.

    South and North Korea marched together at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and fielded a unified women's ice hockey team. That led to a declaration by President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang in September last year that the two Koreas will push to host the 2032 Summer Olympics together.

    Pyongyang would be the other venue.

    Seoul city is proposing to hold the opening and closing ceremonies simultaneously in Seoul and Pyongyang using cutting-edge communications technologies.

    The city government estimates the cost at W5.58 trillion, of which the South will bear W3.86 trillion. Another W28.55 trillion will be needed for infrastructure, most (W22.66 trillion) to be spent on North Korea.

    "If the South makes this investment in the North, this may in fact reduce the costs that will be incurred at the time of reunification," a city government spokesman said.

    Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Do Jong-whan will leave for Switzerland on Wednesday to visit the International Olympic Committee.

    Do will join his North Korean counterpart Kim Il-guk at the IOC to submit a statement of intention and meet with IOC President Thomas Bach on Friday. 

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