Skip to content

January 11, 1988

Letter from the DPRK’s National Olympic Committee to the International Olympic Committee President stating North Korea’s Position regarding their Participation in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.


Cables: Olympic Pyongyang Address
Phone: 6-39-98, 6-23-86 Munsin-dong 2
Telex: 5482KP Dongdaewon-dist.,
Pyongyang, D.P.R.K.

To: Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch
International Olympic Committee
Lausanne, Switizerland

Pyongyang, January 11, 1988

Esteemed Mr. President,

First of all, I send you, Mr. President my sincere greetings and good wished on the New Year and acknowledge the receipt of your telex dated January 6.

As you have mentioned in the telex, we have requested you, in October last, to temporarily adjourn the 5th Lausanne talks or bilateral talks expected to be held between us and the IOC till the result on the “President elections” in south Korea made public, due to the attitude of the south Korean side towards the Olympic co-hosting question.

However, the subsequent situation in south Korea makes it impossible to agree upon the Olympic co-hosting question, and the attempts of the south Korean authorities to singly enforce the Olympic Games become undisguised.

As we have already clarified, we may not participate in the Olympic Games to be singly hosted by the south Korean side, and such being the case there is possibility for us to present application for the participation in the 24th Olympiad.

We feel regret that we could not but take such measures because of the failure of agreement on the co-hosting question we ardently desired for,
But we do not think that it is our last effort to effect the Olympic co-hosting and inform you that we have still hope for its possibility.

The respected leader President Kim Il Sung in his New Year Address this year has clarified political problems of weighty importance to convene the north-south joint conference to discuss some immediate problems for national reunification and detente including the problem of north-south co-hosting of the 24th Olympiad.

We consider that if the north-south joint conference is held and takes measures for the solution of the co-hosting problem, a subsequent Lausanne joint meeting may be resumed for the final agreement.

As seen above the Olympic question is included in the agenda of the north-south joint conference. It bespeaks that the question is directly connected with the question of Korea’s reunification and détente.

I believe that you will fully understand our position.

We hope that you will also await our answer to the IOC’s proposal requested in your telex dated July 15, untill [sic] the north-south negotiation will be held.

We shall remain faithful to the noble idea of the Olympic movement so in the future as in the past.

I wish for your good health and happiness of your family as well as great success in your work in the New Year.

Yours sincerely,

Kim Yu Sun


Olympic Committee

Democratic People’s Republic

Of Korea

A letter from North Korean Olympic Committee President Kim Yu Sun to IOC President Samaranch indicating that North Korea was not likely to participate in the upcoming 1988 Summer Olympics. North Korea cited the failure to come up with a joint hosting plan as the main issue, but pointed out that they remained hopeful that an agreement might be reached.

Document Information


International Olympic Committee Archives (Switzerland), SEOUL’ 88, POLITICAL MATTERS 1988-89; SEOUL ’88/ POLITIQUE (JANVIER – JUILLET). Obtained for NKIDP by Sergey Radchenko.


The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.

To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].

Original Uploaded Date





Record ID