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August 11, 1988

Note from the President of International Olympic Committee (IOC) to Richard W. Pound, IOC Member, regarding Issue of Co-hosting the 1988 Olympics by the Two Koreas

FACSIMILE NUMBER (41.21) 253263 DATE 11/08/88 .


FROM: Juan Antonio SAMARANCH REF. No .

SUBJECT: The Two Koreas .

MESSAGE : Please find attached copy of the press release issued by the IOC today concerning the two Koreas. Please also find attached opy of recent correspondence between North and South.


Juan Antonio SAMARANCH
IOC President .

Lausanne, 11th August 1988


A month from now, the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad will open in Seoul. An all-time record number of 161 NOCs have agreed to participate in this great four-yearly festival of youth, sport and peace.

The entire Olympic Movement has spared no efforts to offer all the NOCs conditions which will allow them to accept the IOC’s invitation to take part in the Games.

For this reason, the IOC applauds the current exchanges taking place between the Parliaments of the two parts of Korea. These contacts mark a new stage in the dialogue which the IOC has constantly encouraged through the meetings it has organised and presided in Lausanne between the representative of the two NOCs and the relevant authorities in Pyong Yang and Seoul.

Today, the IOC wishes once again to reaffirm its fervent desire to bring the youth of the whole of Korea into the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad, as it has brought together in the past the Chinese and the German youth.

It thus solemnly proposes that the delegation of the two Korean NOCs, preceded by a single Olympic flag, march side by side at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad, with each delegation carrying its own flag.

The IOC feels that such a highly symbolic event would allow the youth of Korea to show in the most striking way that it belongs to one and the same nation, and to demonstrate its strong desire for dialogue and reconciliation.

The Olympic Movement hopes that this proposal will receive the fullest attention. The IOC is certain that all peace-loving men and women throughout the world will manifest their full support to this ultimate attempt to ensure that the youth of all nations participates in the festival held in its honour.

The Olympic Games are perceived today in North and South, East and West, as a propitious occasion for peaceful dialogue and reconciliation. The IOC is proud to be of help in this process and is determined to ensure that the XXIVth Olympiad be the most universal and successful in its history.

(stamped confidential)

To: Mr. Jae Sun KIM

Speaker of the National Assembly, Republic of Korea

I have received your reply of 1st August.

As you know, on 20th July we sent you a letter containing specific proposals for a north-south Korean lawmakers meeting to discuss the joint declaration on non-aggression and on 26th July we sent you a letter proposing that a north-south Korean lawmakers meeting be held to discuss as an urgent matter your invitation to us and our proposal to co-host the Olympic Games.

It is fortunate that you have agreed to our repeated proposal – even though your reply sets limits – to having a joint lawmakers meeting. However, we cannot just overlook the many never-ending problems contained in your reply. We do not know if the “south-north inter-parliament meeting” mentioned in your reply means the lawmakers meeting of a parliamentary representatives meeting. It is not clear to us if you want to include party members, organization heads and other leaders or exclude them in these meetings.

If you mean to say that the “south-north inter-parliament meeting” means a meeting of a selected few people including party members, organization heads and other leaders, we cannot say that this is realistically appropriate method.

The Olympic issue should be discussed as an urgent matter because the opening is only about 40 days away and in reality we do not have enough time to hold separate meetings to have a “preliminary contact” as asserted in your reply.

In addition, you label this preliminary meeting as “preliminary contact” and suggest to have about 30 people. This is larger delegation that for a general meeting and we do not see this as an agreeable offer.

As for the agenda, since you have not remarked on our proposal in our last two letters, we can only assume that you have no particular opinion in this matter.

Your reply contains many insincere points but we do not want to waste time dwelling on it. We are interested in having a lawmakers meeting at the soonest possible moment and this is based on your agreement – in principle – of our proposal to hold a joint meeting.

On first reunion to prepare for the lawmakers meeting can be held on 17th August at 10 a.m. at the Panmunjum with three to five lawmakers from each side.

At this meeting, we seriously propose that we discuss the holding of north-south lawmakers meeting to be held in Pyongyang or Seoul starting 26th August and the logistical problems concerning this reunion.

For us, there is nothing complicated nor difficult about having a discussion on the logistical matters. Basically, the issues to be dealt with are the place, date and procedure for crossing Panmunjum, question of safety and guaranteed conveniences.

As for the place of the meeting, if it is difficult for you to have the first meeting in Seoul, we can have it in Pyongyang as we are already prepared to hold it.

Concerning the date, as both sides have agreed to having this meeting before the end of August, we can agree to having the meeting on 26th August and the duration could be for four nights and five days.

With regard to the procedure for passing Panmunjum, we can adhere to the previous north-south dialogue and provide for each other the list of lawmakers, party members and organization leaders and these people could have on hand the necessary identification papers when crossing the demilitarized zone.

The governmental entities concerned with security can be kept informed and an official announcement could be made about those travelling to and from Pyongyang and Seoul before hand and the exchange of the official list should take care of safety matters.

As for accommodation, telecommunication and transportation and other amenities, the hosting side can responsibly guarantee appropriate measures suitable for each individual according to his rank.

We do not believe that we will require much time in working out the logistical arrangements as outlined above and can resolve this in one reunion. This year marks the 48th year in which a parliament was set up in the north and the south.

We must have a north-south lawmakers meeting at whatever the cost and by resolving the non-aggression issue and the Olympic issue for the benefit of our nation and reunification, we would have fulfilled our responsibility and duty as politicians before our country and people.

We hope your parliament will cautiously study our proposal and send us a positive reply.

Hyong Sup YANG
Standing Committee of the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly
9th August 1988

Letter from IOC President, Juan Antonio Samaranch, to Mr. Richard W. Pound, containing an IOC proposal on the 1988 Olympic Games and correspondence between the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly and the ROK National Assembly.

Document Information


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


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