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Moon hopes N. Korea’s participation in PyeongChang Olympics

Moon hopes N. Korea’s participation in PyeongChang Olympics

Posted December. 20, 2017 08:20,   

Updated December. 20, 2017 09:02


“We, along with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), are continuously encouraging North Korea to participate. We believe that there is a possibility that North Korea may participate and we will be waiting with patience,” said President Moon Jae-in as he disclosed his plan for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics when publicized a private train for the president for the first time in 38 years.

President Moon got on a KTX train departing from Seoul Station to Gangneung Tuesday with 20 citizens and deputy heads for sports team of the press, who purchased tickets for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. It was “Train 1,” which is a private presidential train that started operating in 1979. This was the first time for such train to be made public.

President Moon expressed his commitment to do his best to realize a peaceful Olympic during a meeting held in the KTX train. “I hope North Korea will come to Pyeongchang,” said President Moon. “When taking a look at what the country has done previously, North Korea will make a determination to participate at the very last minute. I plan on persuading and encouraging North Korea’s participation.”

Moreover, the president reiterated that in light of the fact that the Olympic games are consecutively being held in Korea, Japan and China, the PyeongChang Olympic Games will become a stepping stone for the peace and co-prosperity of North East Asia. “Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to cooperate for a successful PyeongChang Winter Olympics and said he would seriously consider his participation at the Olympics,” said President Moon.

President Moon Jae-in stated that a deficit of approximately 300 billion won was expected. However, with the support of the national treasury and fund-raising, he anticipated that although Korea may not make a surplus, it will be able to maintain an equilibrium between incomings and outgoings. “It is almost impossible for Gangwon Province to solve the issue of using facilities after the Olympic Games,” answered President Moon regarding the maintenance of facilities after the PyeongChang Olympics.

“The Korean government and local governments will negotiate to come up with a post-game plan,” the president said, adding he has yet to go over designating a temporary holiday during the PyeongChang Olympic Games.

“I remember the thrilling moment when Kim Yu-na won the gold medal and when Korea reached the World Cup semi-finals,” President Moon said. “I hope the PyeongChang Winter Olympics could be an opportunity for healing and festival for Korean citizens, who have gone through so much hardships.”

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com