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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 15, 1986

LETTER FROM THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT TO THE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (NOC) OF THE ROK WITH A SUMMARY OF THE JANUARY 8-9 1986 MEETING BETWEEN THE TWO KOREAN NOCS

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    A letter from IOC President Samaranch to the North Korean Olympic Committee, which included a summary of a recent meeting between the Olympic Committees of North and South Korea, at which some of the issues discussed were events that could be held in North Korea, the torch relay, and future meetings.
    "Letter from the International Olympic Committee President to the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the ROK with a Summary of the January 8-9 1986 Meeting between the Two Korean NOCS" January 15, 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, International Olympic Committee Archives (Switzerland), SEOUL’ 88/ 2EME REUNION DES 2COREES 1985-86. Obtained for NKIDP by Sergey Radchenko. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113482
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Mr. Chong Ha KIM
President
Korean Olympic Committee
C.P.O Box 1106
CONFIDENTIAL
SEOUL / Korea

Lausanne, 15th January 1986
Ref. No. /86/afb

Re: Second meeting between the NOC of the Republic of Korea and the NOC of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Dear Mr. Kim,

Further to the meeting held in Lausanne on 8th and 9th January 1986 between the NOCs of the Republic of Korea and of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, please find enclosed a resumé of the following discussions in which your delegation took part:


- discussions between the IOC and the delegations from the NOCs of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea;


- discussions between the IOC and your delegation alone.

In due course, you will be receiving an official invitation and the agenda for the third meeting scheduled in Lausanne on 10th and 11th June next.

Yours sincerely,

Juan Antonio SAMARANCH
*


bcc. Members of the IOC Executive Board
President of the Olympic Council of Asia – Sheik Fahad Al-Ahmad
AL-SABAH
Administrators déléqué of the IOC






RESUME OF THE DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN THE IOC AND THE DELEGATION OF THE NOC OF THE RPEUBLIC OF KOREA

Wednesday, 8th January 1986
The meeting re-opened at 15h00.

THE PRESIDENT welcomed the delegation from the NOC of the Republic of Korea.

He queried whether or not the NOC would agree to fielding a joint team with the NOC of the DPR of Korea but with different uniforms. He informed that the Olympic Committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had expressed great interest in having a joint team on many occasions including during meetings in Lausanne and Hong-Kong several years previously. Both sides had held numerous meetings since then, particularly during 1985, but no agreement could be reached between the 2 NOCs, and THE PRESIDENT wondered if the Korean Olympic Committee would be prepared to meet the NOC of the DPR of Korea to resume the talks which had been broken off in 1985.

THE PRESIDENT stated that the IOC felt that the question of a joint team related only to the 2 NOCs. The IOC looked forward to learning of a proposed solution to the problem, and encouraged both sides to reach an agreement.

He wished to know if he could advise Mr. Yu Sun Kim, President of the NOC of the DPR of Korea, that the Korean Olympic Committee would be willing to resume talks on the above issue in the near future, and suggested that a meeting be held between the Presidents of the 2 NOCs to decide on a date for such talks.

MR. CHONG-HA KIM replied that the issue of a joint team had been tried out in the past, but that as far as the 1988 Olympic Games were concerned, it was the responsibility of the 2 NOCs to find a solution to the problem. With regard to a date for talks on this matter, this could be arranged according ot the schedule of Red Cross and economics talks taking palce in 1986.

THE PRESIDENT reiterated that he wished to advise President Yu Sun Kim that the Korean Olympic Committee was prepared to resume talks in the near future, but without specifying a date.

2. JOINT PARADE OF THE TWO DELEGATIONS ON THE OCCASION OF THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE GAMES OF THE XXIVTH OLYMPIAD

MR. CHONG-HA KIM stated that the NOC of the Republic of Korea had made it clear that if the NOC of the DPR of Korea accepted the IOC’s recommendations then it would be willing to accept the possibility of parading together at the opening ceremony. It was proposed that 3 columns of the delegation from the NOC of the Republic of Korea parade on the right in their own uniforms and behind their own flag, and 3 columns of the delegation from the NOC of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea parade on the left in their uniforms and behind their flag. Such a joint parade would demonstrate Korea’s wish for unity.

3. EXAMINATION OF EVENTS WHICH COULD BE HELD ON THE TERRITORY OF THE NOC OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA

THE PRESIDENT remarked that at the last meeting of the Olympic Committee of the Republic of Korea had agreed to allow some preliminary events in basketball, football, handball and volleyball to be staged in the DPR of Korea. The IOC was now proposing that the NOC of the DPR of Korea be permitted to organise all competitions, preliminaries an finals, in one of these 4 sports in order to try to convince the NOC to accept the invitiation to take part in the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad.

Following a brief discussion with his delegation MR. CHONG-HA KIM replied that in accordance with Rule 24 of the “Olympic Charter” the Olympic Games were awarded to a city 6 years prior to the Games were due to be celebrated. Thus, the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad had been awarded to Seoul in 1981. Such a time period was require din view of the extensive preparations needed for the Games which were constantly expanding.

More than 4 years had passed since Seoul had been awarded the Games, and it would not be easy to re-allocate some of the preliminaries. Furthermore, the NOC was not aware of the facilities available in the DPR of Korea or which sites were most suitable for the various sports.

The Korean Olympic Committee had received no reply from the NOC of the DPR of Korea regarding the preliminary events it was proposed to stage in the latter’s territory.
MR. KIM concluded that it was not opportune for his NOC to consider granting additional events to the Olympic Committee of the DPR of Korea.

THE PRESIDENT emphasised that the IOC had organised this and the last meeting in order to try and help the Games in Seoul. The IOC’s position was clear and firm: it supported the Games in Seoul, sharing the same desire as the Korean Olympic Committee for the Games to be successful.

The main danger facing the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad was the position* of the NOC of the DPR of Korea. The IOC was trying to convince the Committee to accept the invitation to take part in the Games, an invitation which would be sent out by the IOC itself. Offering the NOC the possibility of organising all competitions in a team sport might encourage the Committee to participate in the Games.

THE PRESIDENT reiterated that the IOC supported the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad, which belonged to it, and was trying to ensure their success. The proposal for the organisation of one sport in the DPR of Korea emanated not from the NOC in that country but from the IOC itself. He suggested that the delegation comment on the proposal the following day.

MR. KIM appreciated the efforts being made by the President of the IOC and the other delegates, and realised that the IOC and the Korean NOC shared the same goals. However, it would not be worthwhile to give more concessions to the NOC of the DPR of Korea. However, the proposal could be accepted if the Olympic Committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea withdrew their demand for co-hosting the Games and naming them the “Seoul/Pyongyang Games”.

THE PRESIDENT thanked Mr. Kim for his usual helpful attitude towards the IOC. He confirmed that the IOC had long since rejected the claims of the NOC of the DPR of Korea for co-hosting the Games. In fact, these claims had not been discussed at that morning’s meeting with the delegation from this NOC.

It was hoped to make some progress, and THE PRESIDENT requested that, if necessary, the Olympic Committee of the Republic of Korea bear the IOC’s proposal in mind, should the NOC of the DPR of Korea be considering participation in the 1988 Olympic Games under certain conditions. If not, the situation would remain unchanged.

MR. KIM confirmed that the NOC had not changed its position regarding the staging of preliminary events in some sports in the DPR of Korea. He added that the following day he would advise whether or not the Korean Olympic Committee would accept the IOC’s proposal and allow the NOC of the DPR of Korea to organise one team sport within its territory, provided it withdrew all claims for co-hosting of the Games.

4. EXAMINATION OF EVENTS WHICH COULD BE HELD USING THE TERRITORY OF THE TWO NOCS

THE PRESIDENT resumed that originally it had been proposed to hold the marathon in the Republic and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. However, this was not now possible owing to technical reasons, and thus it was suggested to stage certain cycling events.
MR. SHIN, Technical Director of the Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIVthe Olympiad, was invited into the meeting to explain which events in cycling could be held in both territories.

MR. SHIN outlined that only the men’s team road race over 100km could be organised so as to link the 2 territories.

5. PARTICIPATION OF THE NOC OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REOUBLIC OF KOREA IN THE CULTURAL PROGRAMME OF THE GAMES OF THE XXIVTH OLYMPIAD

THE PRESIDENT was not aware whether or not the Olympic Committee of the Republic of Korea had studied this time, or if it was ready to propose a programme to the IOC. Moreover, the IOC wished to know if the NOC would be willing to share the torch relay with the NOC of the DPR of Korea.

MR. KIM stated that exchange visits between the 2 territories had already taken place through the Red Cross involving cultural troupes, and further exchanges were planned. For the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad all NOCs would be invited to take part in the cultural programme in order to make it a success, and thus the NOC would accept the participation of the NOC of the DPR of Korea in this.

As for as sharing the torch relay was concerned, if the NOC of the DPR of Korea withdrew all its claims for co-hosting the Games, the Korean Olympic Committee would positively consider such a possibility.

6. ARRANGEMENT OF THE FOLLOW-UP TO THE NEGOTIATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE IOC

THE PRESIDENT advised that the delegation from the Olympic Committee of the Republic of Korea would be invited to the meeting the following day. A third set of meetings might be convened if necessary.

MR. KIM thanked the President for arranging the talks between the 2 sides, but felt that these should be more productive. He requested that the IOC consult his NOC before setting a date for a third meeting in view of the Committee’s busy schedule in 1986.

THE ADMINISTRATOR queried the latest data at which the NOC could alter its programme for the Games, should the NOC of the DPR of Korea be allowed to organise certain events.
MR. KIM replied that the NOC would need the final details prior to June 1986. He stressed, however, that the NOC of the DPR of Korea would first have to withdraw its various demands.

Having no questions to raise with the other IOC delegates, MR. KIM thanked the President for his efforts and co-operation.

THE PRESIDENT observed that 1986 was a busy year with the IOC Executive Board meeting with the NOCs in Seoul in April 1986, and other Board meeting in September 1986 in Seoul with the Summer Ifs. THE PRESIDENT would also be attending the first few days of the 1986 Asian Games, Games which were of the utmost importance as they would indicate various countries’ positions, and act as a trial run for the 1988 Olympic Games.

THE PRESIDENT mentioned that Minister Lee, Sports Minister in the Republic of Korea, had recently been replaced by General Park who he had met in the past. Although the IOC had always had good relations with the SLOOC it was hoped that these would improve further and communication increase.

It was planned to sign the US television rights’ contract for the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad with NBC at the next Board meeting on 12th February 1986, and THE PRESIDENT asked Mr. Kim to request General Roh, President of the SLOOC, to come to Lausanne to sign the contract on behalf of the Organising Committee. He felt that General Roh and he should meet more often. As THE PRESIDENT would be in Seoul twice in 1986, he suggested General Roh visit Europe twice, the first time in February next. When the SLOOC had been created relations with the IOC had been close and many problems had been solved. At present the most important period just prior to the Games was being faced, and regular meetings between THE PRESIDENT and General Roh could only prove advantageous.

With regards to the US television rights’ contract, THE PRESIDENT recalled that the IOC had advised the SLOOC to accept NBC’s offer at the first round of negotiations in September 1985. When the offer had finally been accepted in November 1985 the minimum guarantee had been 25 million US dollars less than the originally offered, although the overall figure had been substantial. The IOC had vast experience in dealing with television networks and was aware of each network’s limitations. Moreover, the IOC’s aim to achieve as high a figure as possible was the same as that of the SLOOC.

The SLOOC had received bad advice that the contract would amount to between 500 and 800 million US dollars, a figure which had appeared in the press, and thus the Korean people had been disappointed to learn of the final figure of 300 million US dollars. This was, however, the highest figure ever paid for television rights to the Summer Olympic Games, as 225 million US dollars had been paid for the Games of the XXIIIrd Olympiad and the time difference between Seoul and prime American viewing time was not negligible.

The President warned the SLOOC to choose its advisors carefully particularly as the success of the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad in Seoul represented a great deal to the Republic of Korea. The Games would be more than just a major sports event. The Republic of Korea was a small country but had vast organisational capabilities. In order to ensure that the Games would be successful, perhaps the most successful in Olympic history, all NOCs had to be encouraged to take part, including the DPR of Korea. He urged the NOC of the Republic of Korea and the SLOOC to trust the IOC in its advice.

THE PRESIDENT sent his best regards to General Roh, hoping to see the latter in Lausanne the following month, and his wishes for success to the new Sports Minister, General Park. He assured that the NOC and the Organising Committee would always be supported by the entire Olympic Movement.

MR. KIM thanked the President for his kind words, stating that he would transmit the latter’s request to General Roh. THE PRESIDENT’s advice would be taken into consideration in the preparations for the Games.

THE PRESIDENT further confirmed the IOC’s support and any assistance it could lend with regard to the organisation of the ANOC meetings in April 1986 in Seoul and of the 1986 Asian Games in September.

The meeting adjourned at 16h00.

Thursday, 9th January 1986

The meeting between the delegates from the NOC of the Republic of Korea and the IOC began at 11h15.

THE PRESIDENT apologised for the delay in opening this meeting. He stated that at the end of the second series of meetings between the two Korean NOCs and the IOC, the results achieved were not outstanding; however, it must be acknowledged that a certain amount of progress had been made. The DPR of Korea delegation was gradually revealing a change in its initially unyielding attitude. THE PRESIDENT stressed that the position of the IOC remained unaltered and full support was offered to the NOC of the Republic of Korea; the IOC would stand by the commitments into which it had entered. It was a question of the IOC and the NOC of the Republic of Korea working together in order to try to ensure the participation of the DPR of Korea in the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad. The main objective of the IOC was the success of the Games in 1988 for the benefit of the entire Olympic Movement; he thus believed it essential to continue dialogue with the NOC of the DPR of Korea and suggested that a third series of meetings be held in Lausanne on 10th and 11th June 1986, as there was still the possibility that an agreement could be reached.

THE PRESIDENT proposed that MR. Chong-ha Kim, President of the NOC of the Republic of Korea, accompanied by one or two of his delegates should meet with him privately at 18.00 hours in the Château de Vidy.

MR. CHONG-HA KIM declared that if the Olympic Committee of the DPR of Korea withdrew its proposals advocating the co-hosting of the Games and the participation of a single Korean team, also if agreement could be secured that the agenda of a future meeting would be strictly adhered to, the Korean Olympic Committee would be in favour of the organisation of a third series of meetings in Lausanne.

In addition, the NOC of the Republic of Korea would be prepared, should the DPR of Korea delegation show a more realistic and practical attitude, to study the possibility of allocating the organisation of all competitions relating to one sport to the DPR of Korea.

THE PRESIDENT declared that he hoped that by June 1986 the political situation would have improved yet further and that this would facilitate talks. Moreover, the meeting of the IOC with the National Olympic Commitees would take place in April 1986 in Seoul, thus the position of the DPR of Korea could be monitored before the meeting to be held in Lausanne; whether or not the NOC of the DPR of Korea participated at the gathering of the NOCs in Seoul would be indicative of the stance adopted.

THE PRESIDENT would also be meeting with government representatives in the Republic of Korea and he hoped that such encounters would work favourably towards an agreement between the two Koreas.

As had been the case for this second meeting, the IOC would compile an agenda for the meeting to be held in the month of June and this would be forwarded to delegations advance.

At 12.00 hours that day a further trilateral meeting would be held and he would request the Presidents of the two NOCs to take the floor.

With respect to the press conference to take place at 15.00 hours, THE PRESIDENT preferred that this be restricted to an IOC conference as he felt it unadvisable that official questions be directed to the two Korean delegations. However, both the delegations would naturally be invited to be present.

MR. CHONG-HA KIM asked for more detail as to the change in the attitude of the NOC of the DPR of Korea to which the President had alluded.

THE PRESIDENT clarified that during the first series of meetings the Olympic Committee of the DPR of Korea had continually insisted that eh Games awarded Seoul become the Pyongyang-Seoul Games and that sports be divided between the two Koreas. Now the claim that it was essential that the DPR of Korea co-host the Games had been dropped, and delegates were not requesting that several sports be allocated to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. THE PRESIDENT was of the opinion that relations between the two delegations were improving and that communication had become easier.

MR. CHONG-HA KIM repeated that should the DPR of Korea NOC reveal a positive attitude which satisfied both the IOC and the KOC, it was not too late to consider allocating a full sport to Pyongyang, either one of the four team sports which had been previously mentioned, or even another sport.

THE PRESIDENT believed that it would be advisable to award one of the [illegible] four team sports to which reference had been made. However, he felt that it was not the right time to begin detailed examination of such a question at the present meeting. His main concern was that relations between the two NOCs should improve, if relations on a political level were good, this would be reflected in the type of agreement which could be formulated in order to ensure participation of athletes from the DPR of Korea at the next Games of the Olympiad.

MR. CHONG-HA KIM agreed with the President that it was necessary to keep open the possibility of an agreement being reached.

The PRESIDENT asked for the delegates’ trust in the policies of the IOC which fully supported the Seoul Games. He further stated the Olympic Committee of the DPR of Korea’s conviction that a joint Korean team should participate at the Games was a matter of discussion between the two NOCs. If an agreement could be reached to send a single team to the Games in 1988, this was acceptable to the IOC. Should no agreement be reached, the IOC would be favourable to the participation of two separate Korean teams, as at previous Olympic Games.

MR. CHONG-HA KIM declared that the NOC of the Republic of Korea placed full trust in the IOC, its President and its members. He felt that the President’s assessment of the situation was a just one.

THE PRESIDENT thanked the delegates of the NOC of the Republic of Korea for their cooperation, and reminded the meeting at 12.00 proceedings would continue with further joint discussions.

The meeting broke at 11h40.l