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SBD Global/July 24, 2014/OlympicsPrint All
Two days after the sudden resignation of the 2018 PyeongChang Organizing Committee President Kim Jin-sun, officials said Wednesday that Korean Olympic Committee President Kim Jung-haeng "will serve as an interim head of South Korea's first Winter Games," according to YONHAP. Kim will oversee operations of the organizing committee of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang "until it finds a full-time replacement for the former president of the committee, Kim Jin-sun." The organizers also said that "they will operate an emergency task force and a 24-hour situation room to deal with the power vacuum." Two of the organizing committee's VPs, Kwak Young-jin and Kim Sang-pyo, "will act as co-heads of the task force" (YONHAP, 7/23). REUTERS' Patrick Johnston wrote an official at the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism denied that the Board of Audit and Inspection review "was the reason" behind Kim's resignation. Kim Jung-haeng, 70, "assumed power as the most senior of the six vice presidents remaining on the organizing committee for the country's first Winter Olympics." He "will be briefed on how preparations are going on Thursday" (REUTERS, 7/23).
North Korea has urged Asian Games host South Korea to seize a "golden opportunity" to improve relations between the fractious neighbors and accept its proposal for a party of 700 athletes and officials to take part in the multi-sport event, according to Narae Kim of REUTERS. Talks between the two countries about participation in the September showpiece in Incheon "ended last week with the North threatening to pull out of the Games." North Korea was unhappy that its "larger-than-expected party of 350 athletes and a similar amount of cheerleaders was not agreed to by the South." The North's KCNA official news agency ran a statement from the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland on Wednesday "pushing the South to accept the deal." The statement said, "No one should have impure intent to misuse pure sports activity for political purposes." The North, which has threatened to conduct a fourth nuclear test, has recently "proposed steps to ease tension and believed participation in the Games would also help" (REUTERS, 7/23).