IOC chief says Kim committed to Olympics in Tokyo, Beijing

IOC President Thomas Bach

He expressed his willingness to make sure that the IOC would cooperate with North Korea in the long-term preparation for its participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and contribute to the development of sports in North Korea by proactively using the platform of global sporting events.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach Saturday wound up a three-day visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) during which he met with the DPRK top leader Kim Jong Un.

International Olympic Committee delegation's visit to Pyongyang began on Thursday and finished on Saturday.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency on Friday released a photo in which Bach was shown with North Korean IOC member Chang Ung along with other IOC delegation members.

"The discussions will focus on the further development of sport in the DPRK after the successful participation of athletes at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018; and the preparation of athletes from. the DPRK with the objective of qualifying for and participating in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, as well as the Youth Olympic Games 2020 and 2022", the IOC added.

During the Pyeongchang Olympics, Bach said he was happy with the role the International Olympic Committee played in getting North Korea and South Korea together at the games.

Bach described the visit as a "very fruitful" one and said the IOC will help DPRK prepare for the participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

Kim told Bach that the Olympics - which saw competitors from the two Koreas march together at the opening ceremony and field a joint women's ice hockey team - "opened a new chapter of concord between the north and the south", the official KCNA news agency said.

He is the first foreign official to meet Kim since the North Korean leader returned earlier this week from a summit in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"This commitment has been fully supported by the supreme leader Kim Jong Un in a meeting we had this afternoon", he said.

A North Korean team has participated at every addition of the Summer Olympics since they boycotted Seoul 1988. After his summit with Moon, Kim is to meet President Donald Trump by May, though the date and location of that summit have not been announced.

The exact reasons behind Kim's seeming change of tactics remain something of a mystery.

Bach, who is German, competed in the Olympics for West Germany when the Germanies were still divided and says that gives him a special feeling for the Koreas.

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