October 27, 2021

Three years later, South Korea’s Olympic governor still bets on sports diplomacy

Gangwon governor Choi Moon-soon says the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics are a chance to rekindle relations with North Korea

This week marks three years since fireworks exploded over Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium in an opening ceremony that touted North and South Korean athletes marching together under one unified flag. That day kick-started a new wave of diplomacy that ultimately led to historic summits with North Korea and promises of peace and denuclearization. But just one year after the big Winter Games, relations between Seoul, Washington and Pyongyang unraveled into harsh DPRK rhetoric and a diplomatic stalemate.

Now, Choi Moon-soon, the 65-year-old governor of Pyeongchang’s Gangwon province, insists that he will not let his dream of sports diplomacy go. Speaking to NK News at a conference earlier this week, he vowed to keep inviting North Korea to the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics in Gangwon, a region literally divided by the Korean War.