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Seoul to Bid for 2036 Olympics With Notable Exclusion

  • Seoul is planning to bid to host the 2036 Olympics.
  • In 2021, Seoul submitted a bid with North Korea's capital Pyongyang to host the 2032 Olympics.
Flag bearers enter with the South Korean flag during the opening ceremony for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games

Seoul is planning to bid for the Olympics again, but this time without North Korean capital Pyongyang.

The pair submitted a proposal to host the 2032 Olympics in 2021 — three years after the countries marched under a unified flag at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics — before it was awarded to Brisbane in hopes of better relations with North Korea, according to Reuters. 

Now, Seoul is making a bid for the 2036 Summer Olympics alone, according to Seoul mayor Oh Se-hoon.

“I think the strategy for 2032 was doomed to failure because of unpredictable inter-Korean relations,” Oh said.

In the last year, North Korea has tested a record number of ballistic missiles and regularly threatens Seoul and its allies. Washington, D.C., officials say North Korea may be preparing to test nuclear weapons again for the first time since 2017.

Seoul is reportedly open to holding some events in the Demilitarized Zone or Pyongyang if relations improve. 

The national government and individual cities would have to decide whether to jointly host with Pyongyang, according to an official with the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, who said they had not received any formal statements of intent to bid from Seoul or Busan.

Germany, Qatar, India, Egypt, and Mexico have also been named as potential bidders.