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North, South Korea progress unified Tokyo 2020 talks, 2032 Olympic bid

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South Korea reportedly asked North Korea to form joint Tokyo 2020 Olympic teams in six or seven sports, and the nations agreed to tell the International Olympic Committee officially of their 2032 Olympic bid intention on Friday.

In September, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-In said in a statement that the countries planned to jointly bid for 2032, and they would look to cooperate in major sports events such as the 2020 Games, without elaborating at the time.

Some more details emerged Friday, particularly regarding creating teams of North and South Korean athletes at the Tokyo Games.

“First of all, our athletes who’ve qualified for the Olympics should not suffer damages if unified teams are to be formed,” an unnamed South Korea Olympic Committee official said, according to Yonhap News Agency. “We also decided to minimize our requests for the IOC or international federations’ help. Instead of thinking about the results at the competitions, we will focus on the process of assembling unified teams that will show the two Koreas’ efforts moving toward one goal.”

The Koreas will send a unified team to the men’s handball world championship in January, it was announced last month.

In PyeongChang, the two nations marched together in the Opening Ceremony behind the Korea Unification flag and fielded a joint women’s hockey team. In the summer, they fielded joint canoeing, rowing and women’s basketball teams at the Asian Games.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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North, South Korea agree to joint bid to host 2032 Olympics

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North Korea and South Korea agreed Tuesday to place a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics, according to the Associated Press.

South Korea hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and the two nations marched under one flag at the opening ceremony.

The countries have had a tenuous relationship over the past 70 years, but there have been diplomatic breakthroughs recently.

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea President Moon Jae-in are taking part in a summit that began Tuesday, per Joshua Berlinger, Sophie Jeong and Yoonjung Seo of CNN.

The possibility of a joint bid was raised last week, according to Yonhap News Agency.

“It’s a proposal of hosting the events in Seoul and Pyongyang,” South Korea sports minister Do Jong-hwan said.

“The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics showed the Olympic values very well,” Do added. “I hope peace in Northeast Asia can continue through sports.”

Though joint bids for the Olympics aren’t common, Italy had planned to make a three-city bid until it fell through.

The International Olympic Committee has provided Asian countries more hosting opportunities as of late, with the 2020 Summer Olympics set for Tokyo and Beijing hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics.

A successful Korean bid would up the tally to four sets of Games on the continent in 14 years.

Indonesia bids for 2032 Olympics

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia will bid to host the 2032 Olympics following the success of the Asian Games held there over the past two weeks, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said in a surprise announcement Saturday that highlights the rising ambition of the giant but long underperforming Southeast Asian nation.

Jokowi, who is campaigning for a second term, made the announcement at a meeting in Bogor with the presidents of the International Olympic Committee and the Asian Olympic Committee.

“With the experience we have in organizing the 18th Asian Games, we are sure Indonesia can also host a bigger event,” Jokowi said in a statement after the meeting.

IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed the candidacy of Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, saying that the Asian Games provided a “strong foundation” for the country’s 2032 bid.

He said Indonesia has shown that it has all the ingredients to hold the Olympics successfully.

“You see that Indonesia is on the move. And you see the enthusiasm of the people,” Bach told The Associated Press. “It’s a very young country. This of course also makes it very interesting for the IOC.”

Indonesia, which has never bid for an Olympics, has earned 32 medals, all at the Summer Games, all since 1988, and all in archery, badminton and weightlifting.

About 12,000 athletes from 45 nations and territories as well as several thousand officials and journalists took part in the Asian Games, which end Saturday. As host, Indonesia provided a spectacular opening ceremony and also exceeded its own expectations in winning 30 golds, placing fourth on the medal table.

Indonesia, projected to be among the world’s 10 biggest economies by 2030, used the games to shift perceptions that it’s in the “too hard” basket, paving the way for a tilt at even bigger sports hosting baubles.

The country’s hosting of the Asian Games without major organizational hitches has been a boost for Jokowi as he heads to elections in April. With the 2032 bid announcement, he gets to extend the shelf life of the Asian Games afterglow.

Bach said the formal selection process for 2032 hasn’t begun, but Germany and India have also expressed interest.

“And we have heard from other continents and other cities,” he said. “Given that the decision will most likely be taken in 2025, you can understand that we are already very happy at this stage to have such an interest.”

Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Olympics. Paris and Los Angeles have already been selected to host the following two Games, in 2024 and 2028, respectively.

Massive problems with the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, a developing country with endemic corruption, may count against Indonesia’s chances. It cost Brazil about $20 billion to host the Olympics, a bill that is likely to raise objections in Indonesia, where poverty remains widespread.

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