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North, South Korea to explore co-hosting 2032 Summer Olympics

By
Elizabeth Shim
North and South Korea have been discussing co-hosting the 2032 Summer Games at the new liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea. File Photo by Andrew Wong/UPI
North and South Korea have been discussing co-hosting the 2032 Summer Games at the new liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea. File Photo by Andrew Wong/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 14 (UPI) -- North and South Korea are planning to discuss co-hosting the 2032 Summer Olympics with the International Olympic Committee in 2019, according to South Korean press reports.

Seoul Pyongyang News and other news services reported Friday the two Koreas will host a forum on the 2032 Summer Games on Feb. 15, in Lausanne, Switzerland. A joint entry of the North and South teams at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and the 2020 Summer Games is also being explored, according to reports, following a meeting of North and South officials at the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong, North Korea.

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Roh Tae-gang, South Korea's vice minister of culture, sports and tourism, and the North's Won Gil U led the meeting on Friday, which comes after initial discussions on the 2032 Olympics on Nov. 2.

The two Koreas agreed on Friday to send a jointly signed letter to the IOC, signaling their intent to co-host the 2032 Summer Games. The two sides are also discussing practical matters related to joint training and the formation of a single Olympic team for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

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Cultural and sports exchanges have historically played an important role in easing some of the tensions on the peninsula.

The latest talks are taking place as South Korea and the United States again failed to reach a consensus on military burden sharing for U.S. forces on the peninsula.

South Korea's foreign ministry said Friday talks for the Special Measures Agreement held this week ended without an accord, South Korean newspaper Segye Ilbo reported.

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A South Korean diplomatic official said while agreements were reached on "most items," a final agreement on South Korea's contribution to U.S. forces was not negotiated.

U.S. President Donald Trump has asked Seoul to double its contribution to more than $1 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal last week.

U.S. forces serve to strengthen joint defense capabilities against North Korea and a reduction of the troop presence is not an option for Seoul or Washington, despite the absence of provocations.

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