North Korea’s proposal to co-host Olympic Games is rejected

North Korea’s proposal to co-host Olympic Games is rejected

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge, center, speaks as Kim Jin-sun, head of the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and Gunilla Lindberg, a chair of IOC Evaluation Commission, left, listen during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. Rogge arrived in South Korea on Wednesday for a four-day visit to inspect ongoing preparations for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games in the South Korean alpine city. Photo: Associated Press/Ahn Young-joon

SEOUL (Reuters) – The organizing committee for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea’s Pyeongchang (POCOG) has poured cold water on North Korea’s suggestion that it could co-host some of the Olympic skiing events at its Masik resort.

North Korea’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Chang Ung hinted on Tuesday that the North was willing to host events at the resort in Wonsan, Gangwon province.

However, POCOG responded on Wednesday by saying that holding events hundreds of kilometers away from the host city was unrealistic and would breach IOC regulations.

The two Koreas have only resumed dialogue in recent weeks after months of tensions earlier this year appeared to take their frayed ties to the brink of war as Pyongyang threatened missile and nuclear attacks against the South and its ally the United States.

The United States fought on the side of the South in the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

“Co-hosting goes against International Olympic Committee regulations which stipulate that, unlike the World Cup, all the Olympic events be held within the host city,” the committee said in a news release on Wednesday.

“We should make sure technology and administrative works are in optimal condition in order to host an event- and athlete-oriented Olympic Games. Holding some of the events in the Masik resort, more than 300 kilometers away from Pyeongchang, cannot guarantee meeting this goal,” the committee added.

IOC Chairman Jacques Rogge has previously expressed opposition to co-hosting events with North Korea, saying in 2011 that the IOC would consider allowing the two Koreas to march together at the 2018 opening ceremony but not to share events.

“As far as spreading venues between the two countries, that is something we do not consider under the current Olympic Charter,” said Rogge.


On Tuesday, North Korea’s Chang told U.S. funded broadcaster Voice of America that the Masik resort could possibly hold 2018 events if an agreement could be reached.

“When construction is complete, it (Masik) can be used in an international event and possibly in the Olympic Games,” Chang was quoted as saying in the telephone interview.

He acknowledged, however, that it was not a simple decision to make and that there would have to be complex discussions among several bodies such as the IOC and International Ski Federation to assess the possibility.

Last month, Switzerland banned the sale to North Korea of equipment for the luxury ski resort planned for the ruling elite in the impoverished state that is under U.N. sanctions.

The North approached several Swiss companies to provide chair lifts and cable cars worth 7 million Swiss francs ($7.57 million) for its sprawling Masik resort, the Geneva daily Le Temps reported on August 19.

But the Swiss government, contacted by the companies for clearance, added luxury sporting equipment to its list of goods banned under United Nations sanctions, Marie Avet of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), said.

“The Federal Council decided on July 3 to also put infrastructure for sports facilities on the list, especially when they have a more luxury character for resorts,” Avet told Reuters. “These resorts have a luxury character, that is why it is not appropriate to export.”

North Korea has said construction of the resort was part of its plans to boost economic development and improve livelihoods and not just for the elite.

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Lackey dominates, Cardinals beat Cubs in NLDS opener

The ball cap and glove St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jason Mote lie in the outfield grass during the baseball team's workout in Pittsburgh Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. The Pirates face the St. Louis Cardinals in the third game of the National League Division Series baseball game Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Game 2 of the best-of-five series is Saturday. The Cardinals turn to lefty Jaime Garcia who made 20 starts coming off risky thoracic surgery. Kyle Hendricks makes his postseason debut for the NL wild-card winners.

in Sports

Bae leads an International team rally amid Mickelson mistake at Presidents Cup


Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson were assessed a one-hole penalty at No. 7 when Mickelson used a different model golf ball, ultimately costing the Americans the match.

in Sports

NYC jury acquits Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha in police fracas


A Manhattan jury found Sefolosha not guilty Friday of misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule


Here's a look at some of this weekend's big sporting events.

in Sports

This week’s best sports shots


Here's a look at some of the big moments and best plays this week.

Bellingham Traffic