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January 9, 1986

Meeting between the International Olympic Committee and the DPRK’s National Olympic Committee on Increasing North Korea’s Participation in the 1988 Olympic Games

(stamped confidential)


Lausanne, 9th January 1986 – 09.15.00 hours

Persons present :

For the IOC
H.E. Mr. Juan Antonio SAMARANCH, IOC President
Mr. Alexandru SIPERCO, IOC Vice-President

Present for the NOC of the DPR Korea

Mr. Yu Sun KIM, IOC member in DPR Korea and President of the NOC
Mr. Chung Guk CHIN, Vice-President of the NOC of DPR Korea

The delegation of the NOC of the DPR Korea stated that it had reviewed its proposal of the previous day to stage 8 events during the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad in Pyong-Yang. During the informal meeting the delegation was prepared to make its position clear regarding the staging of events. However, during the formal meeting their position would remain unchanged for the present time.

The IOC President stressed that there should be no misunderstanding between himself and Mr. Yu Sun Kim as there had been during talks in Moscow two years ago. He believed that the delegation had spoken with Vice-President Siperco and had reached a conclusion, which he requested Mr. Siperco to repeat.

Mr. Siperco stated that he had had discussions with the delegation of the NOC of the DPR Korea on the previous evening and the delegation had been favourable to the proposal of 3 full sports events, one of which would possibly be football, being staged in Pyong-Yang.

The DPR Korea NOC delegation explained that the NOC was intending to participate in the Games or it would not be taking part in the discussions. However, the question of the single team was raised once again, to which the IOC President stressed that this was purely a matter for the two Koreas.

If a conclusion was reached regarding a joint team, then the IOC would accept this decision. If not, its proposal for the joint parade of the two teams on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the Games would still be valid.

The NOC of the DPR Korea proposed that the three events be football, table tennis and archery (or shooting). The IOC President reiterated that he could not make a decision due to the fact that he was obliged to speak first with the IFs.

The IOC President made it clear that the IOC would honour its contract signed in Baden Baden for the staging of the Games in Seoul. However, it was possible for some events to take place in Pyong-Yang, but only upon the agreement of the NOC of the DPR Korea to participate in some sports events of the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad being held in Seoul.

The NOC of the DPR Korea raised the question of the name to be given to the Games. They requested that they be called the “24th Olympic Games Pyong Yang – Seoul (or Seoul – Pyong-Yang) depending on whether it was written in North or South Korea.

The IOC President stated that this proposal was under no circumstances acceptable to the ICO.

It was agreed in principle that the 1988 Summer Olympic Games would be the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad in Seoul. However, for those events being held in North Korea, the IOC President felt that Pyong-Yang could be substituted for Seoul. He stressed that this matter would be duly studied by the IOC and that he was not in a position to give a firm proposal at the present time.

The DPR Korea NOC delegation wished to have a joint Organising Committee with the same number of participants on each side, which the IOC President stated was strictly not possible or acceptable. It would be necessary to create a special organising committing for the events to be staged in Pyongyang.

Regarding a further meeting in order to continue the talks, the IOC President felt that the next meeting of the three parties should be composed of only 3 delegates for each of the two Koreans NOCS.

The NOC of the DPR Korea preferred this meeting to take place in Lausanne rather than in Seoul during the IOC meetings in April and it was agreed that the next meeting between the IOC and two Korean NOCs should take place in Lausanne on 10th and 11th June 1986.

The IOC President suggested that an informal meeting could be held in March between the IOC and the delegation of the NOC of the DPR Korea in order to discuss various matters prior to the full meeting.

The delegation agreed that two or three representatives of the NOC of the DPR Korea would come to Lausanne for private discussions with the IOC President on 7th March 1986 at 10.00 hours.

The IOC President felt that there were many points which needed reflection and study on both sides and requested that the delegation forward a memorandum to him prior to the meeting in March raising all the points for discussion. For his part, the IOC President stated that he would also forward a memorandum to the NOC of DPR Korea and the two documents would be discussed in detail on the occasion of the meeting in March.

In reply to the IOC President’s request for clarification of North Korea’s position regarding participation in the Olympic Games in Seoul, the delegation felt that as the Games were happening on Korean territory, it was not correct for North and South Koreans to participate against one another.

The IOC President pointed out that Koreans from both sides had been competing against one another in competitions throughout the world. He stressed that the NOC should be ready to participate in Seoul with its own team.

Finally, the IOC President wished to advise the DPR Korean delegation that they should attend the meeting of the NOCs In Seoul In April 1986. He felt that their failure to attend could have serious consequences, regardless of the political difficulties which they themselves under went in order to attend the meeting.

Notes on an informal meeting between IOC President Samaranch (with IOC VP Siperco) and members of the North Korean Olympic Committee. They discussed ways to include North Korea in the upcoming 1988 Summer Olympics. North Korea's IOC expressed its desire to participate the Olympics as a joint team with South Korea and also to host events to Pyongyang. Samaranch said that it may be possible for events to occur in Pyongyang and that the issue of a unified team was to be settled between North and South Korea.

Document Information


International Olympic Committee Archives (Switzerland), SEOUL’ 88, POLITICAL MATTERS, DE 1982 A MAI 86. Obtained for NKIDP by Sergey Radchenko.


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