Gangwon Province Governor Choi Moon-soon, left, and Democratic Party (DP) Chairman Rep. Sohn Hakkyu shake hands Monday after the DP’s Supreme Council meeting at the Convention Center at the Alpensia Resort, PyeongChang, Gangwon Province. / Yonhap
By Chung Min-uck
Rep. Sohn Hak-kyu, chairman of the opposition Democratic Party, said Monday the party would push for “some events at the 2018 Winter Olympics to be staged in North Korea.”
He said he would also bring up the issue of forming a unified team with the North in future talks with the ruling Grand National Party and the government.
“We are seriously reviewing ways of involving the North in the hosting of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics,” Sohn said during a party supreme council meeting.
“We will make the PyeongChang Olympics the turning point in Korea’s divided history.”
Sohn also urged President Lee Myung-bak to take steps to enable Gangwon Province to play the main role in the preparations for the Winter Games with the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Organizing Committee.
He said the committee should focus on collecting diverse voices from different sectors.
Choi Moon-soon, the governor of Gangwon Province, where PyeongChang is located is a member of the DP.
Since South Korea won the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, the DP has been relating PyeongChang with issues about North Korea saying that the peaceful relationship between the two Koreas is the premise to successfully hosting the games.
On the expected future actions of the DP, Choi Jin-wook, a senior researcher at Korea Institute for National Unification, said, “The opposition party will continue with its discussions on holding events in the North in the future. PyeongChang is located in the province bordering the North. It is a critical location in easing tensions between the North and South.”
On the future response from the North, Choi said “North Korea has been trying to resume talks with the South recently. In line with this, I guess (North Korea) is likely to respond positively to South Korea’s proposal for co-hosting the event, as an official conference between the North and South is necessary in order to discuss the North’s participation.”