President Moon Jae-in met with Dr. Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, in New York at 10:20 on the morning of September 26 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
President Moon began by saying that South and North Korea were finally able to agree on a joint bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics thanks to the IOC President’s steadfast encouragement.
IOC President Bach responded by saying that he would like to congratulate President Moon on what was accomplished at the inter-Korean summit in Pyeongyang last week. He went on to say that if the two Korea’s joint bid succeeded, it would mean the culmination of a circle of efforts stretching from the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics to the 2032 Summer Olympics.
President Moon expressed his deep gratitude to the IOC President. He said that, even though the world was still not properly aware of it, President Bach and the IOC deserve a great deal of credit for the astounding change now taking place as they had helped persuade the North to participate in the PyeongChang Olympics.
The IOC President said achievements would be reaped without fail since both Koreas have already formed a good team. President Bach continued that President Moon had every reason to be proud of what has been achieved over the past two months and his contributions not only to the Korean Peninsula but to all of humanity.
President Moon said that, during his meetings with Chairman Kim Jong Un, he was able to ascertain that the Chairman was grateful to the International Olympic Committee and to President Bach for their role. Adding that 80 million Koreans must also be appreciative of President Bach, President Moon said that consultations on measures for Seoul and Pyeongyang to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics had to begin at the earliest date possible.
IOC President Bach said the IOC was always open to the issue. He went on to say that after a meeting with President Moon in August, he already started consultations with the National Olympic Committees of both South and North Korea on their joint participation in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. He continued by saying that he would visit Japan in November and talk to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about how to help athletes and officials from the two Koreas successfully take part in the Olympics. He also expressed the hope that President Moon would discuss the issue with the Prime Minister when the opportunity arose.
Agreeing with the IOC President, President Moon said he would seek inter-Korean consultations on the matter as soon as possible so that the IOC would not find itself in an awkward situation. The Korean President said that he felt cooperation had already begun, adding that he looked forward to another meeting with IOC President Bach in the near future.