LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea requested on Friday to have unified Korean teams in basketball, hockey, judo and rowing to compete in the qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee said.
The IOC announcement on the organization’s official website stated that the Korean request for unified teams included the competitions of women’s basketball, women’s hockey, a judo mixed-team event and many of the women’s and men’s rowing events.
“One year after the successful Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018, the International Olympic Committee today organized a working meeting to discuss further sports cooperation between the Republic of Korea (KOR) and the Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea (PRK),” the IOC’s website read.
“The parties agreed on the principles guiding such unified Korean teams by sport and discipline,” the IOC’s statement added. “It was decided that participation in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would be based on successful qualification in those sports and disciplines for which both National Olympic Committees wish to compete as a unified Korean team.”
The IOC confirmed that the request had yet to be fully studied with the respective international federations of the mentioned sports.
The also IOC stressed that the World Anti-Doping Agency will subject all Korean athletes to the same anti-doping controls.
The IOC underscored that both Koreas are to discuss the inclusion of further sports which should be presented before the due date of the Tokyo 2020 qualifications.
“Any result will need the approval of the IOC Executive Board, which has its next meeting from March 26 to March 28, 2019 in Lausanne,” the statement said.
This announcement came after the meeting held at IOC’s headquarters in the Swiss city of Lausanne, which was presided by IOC president, Thomas Bach, and attended by the two delegations of both Korean states, one headed by Do Jong-hwan, the South Korean Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism, and the other delegation led by North Korean Minister of Physical Culture and Sports, Kim Il-guk.
“The discussions at the working meeting today are one further step showing how sport can once more make a contribution to peace on the Korean Peninsula and the world,” Bach said. “We have a good foundation to build on and make further progress ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
The IOC also praised the upcoming joint North and South Korean bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games in both countries.
“South Korea greatly hopes to jointly host the Olympic Games 2032 with North Korea, and will work to successfully bid for the Games together,” Do said, according to the IOC’s statement.
Do’s North Korean counterpart agreed, with Kim saying: “I am very moved and excited by the prospect of bidding together with South Korea.”