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Seoul selected as candidate city for joint Olympic bid with N. Korea

18:49 February 11, 2019

JINCHEON, South Korea, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- Seoul was selected Monday as the South Korean candidate city for a joint Olympic bid with North Korea.

The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) said Seoul was chosen over Busan as the candidate city for the 2032 Summer Games at its general assembly at the National Training Center in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province. Seoul earned 34 out of 49 votes from KSOC members.

Before the vote, Busan, South Korea's second largest city, located 450 kilometers southeast of the capital, proposed that it and Seoul become co-candidate cities, but apparently its offer was rejected.

South Korea plans to co-host the 2032 Olympics with North Korea as the two sides agreed at their sports talks last year. They are scheduled to submit a letter of intent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday, when sports officials from the two Koreas and the IOC meet in Lausanne, Switzerland.

North Korea has yet to announce its candidate city, but Pyongyang is considered a certain pick considering its infrastructure.

Under the process, South Korea had to select its candidate city before submitting its bid to the IOC. The KSOC completed on-site inspections of Seoul and Busan from Jan. 23-25 before putting the issue to a vote.

Seoul now has a chance to host the Summer Olympics for the second time. The South Korean capital city hosted the country's first Summer Games in 1988. It hosted the Winter Olympics last year in the alpine town of PyeongChang in Gangwon Province.

North Korea has no history of hosting the Olympic Games.

So far, Germany, Australia, India and Indonesia have shown their interest in hosting the 2032 Olympics. The IOC typically narrows down the list of candidates to three and selects an Olympic host city seven years in advance, meaning the Koreas' fate, if the two survive the cut, will be determined in 2025.

Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) President Lee Kee-heung strikes his gavel to start the KSOC general assembly at the National Training Center in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, on Feb. 11, 2019. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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