— Published 14 March 2023

Seoul abandons alliance with Pyongyang

South Korea is changing its strategy in the race for the 2036 Summer Games. Reuters reports that Seoul’s mayor, Oh Se-hoon, has explained that he intends to pursue the Olympic and Paralympic project, but has abandoned the idea of a joint bid with Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. A joint bid by the two neighbouring countries had been envisaged for the 2032 edition, before the IOC decided to award the event to Brisbane. According to the mayor of Seoul, the South Korean capital has not thrown away its intention to bid for the Games in 2036. But it will do it alone. “I think the strategy for 2032 was doomed to failure because of unpredictable inter-Korean relations,” Oh Se-hoon told Reuters. But the South Korean politician said there would still be time for events in the DMZ, or even in Pyongyang itself, if relations between the two countries improved sufficiently by then. At this stage of the race, South Korea has not yet officially expressed to the IOC its intention to bid for the 2036 Summer Games. An official of the National Olympic Committee (KSOC) said he had not received any official declaration of intent from Seoul or the southern city of Busan for the Summer Games.