Report: Seoul preps for joint Olympic bid with North Korea

Sept. 9 (UPI) — The city of Seoul is preparing to submit an application to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics with Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.

South Korean government officials said Wednesday the city is in the process of drawing up a document that expresses Seoul’s commitment to hosting a historic inter-Korea Olympics, South Korean news service NK Economy reported.

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In September 2018, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to work toward co-hosting the 2032 Summer Games as part of the Pyongyang Joint Declaration. The work of pursuing the Olympics continued at city hall under former Mayor Park Won-soon, who died by suicide in July.

North Korea has yet to confirm its commitment to co-hosting the Games. But in January, the Seoul Metropolitan Government filed a continuous dialogue request with the International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission, according to local press reports.

The continuous dialogue request has been followed by Seoul’s preparation to meet information collection requirements. Candidates for the 2032 Summer Olympics must provide details on their Olympic concept, infrastructure preparedness, transportation and accommodation.

The sudden death of Park, who visited Pyongyang in 2018 and offered his city’s help with renovations for the North Korean city, has polarized South Korea.

Park died amid allegations of sexual harassment from a former employee, who remains anonymous but has charged her former boss with years of harassment. Through her lawyer, she has said Park set her lewd messages even after she left her job.

Park’s case has been automatically closed in compliance with local laws, but South Koreans continue to criticize the handling of the incident.

Newsis reported Wednesday a petition uploaded to the presidential Blue House is demanding answers for the official funeral held to honor the former mayor, despite the charges of sex crimes.

The Blue House defended the funeral, citing Park’s contributions as a public figure. The government also said incense burning was left out of the ceremony amid the controversy, according to the report.

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