North and South Korea to Launch Joint Bid to Host 2032 Olympic Games

North and South Korea have confirmed that the two countries are planning a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made the surprising revelation during a major summit in Pyongyang on Wednesday, although they declined to offer any further details.

For the time being, it remains unknown which cities might be involved in the bid and there is as yet no indication of how advanced the plans to host the Games are.

South Korea hosted the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in February and the Summer Olympics in Seoul in 1988, while North Korea has never hosted an international event.

Usually, the International Olympic Committee announces the host cities seven years ahead of the games, which would give the two countries just over six years to put a bid together in time for 2025.

Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympics, followed by Paris and Los Angeles in 2024 and 2028 respectively.

The race to become the host city for the 2032 Games has already started, with the Australian city of Brisbane putting its candidature forward, while the Indonesian Olympic Committee and its Indian counterpart have both shown interest.

Germany, which hosted the 1972 Olympics in Munich and the soccer World Cup in 2006, has already announced plans for a multi-city bid. Meanwhile, Shanghai is reportedly mulling a bid to become the second Chinese city to host the Games after Beijing a decade ago.

Last week, South Korean Sports Minister Do Jong-hwan first publicly floated the idea of a joint-bid for the Games, indicating Seoul planned to build on the success from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Team Korea and Team Republic of Korea walk in the Parade of Athletes during the Closing Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 25 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. North and South Korea have planed a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After tensions between the two Koreas rose after North Korea's ballistic missile tests and threats against the U.S., the Winter Olympics saw the two countries working together and appeared to usher in a cooling of hostilities. Pyeongyang agreed to send a delegation to South Korea for the games and athletes from North and South Korea marched together in the opening ceremony under the Korean Unification Flag. Meanwhile, in the women's ice hockey, players competed as a single united Korean team.

Relations between the two countries have since slowly improved and in April they signed the Panmunjeon Declaration to end the Korean conflict and denuclearize the peninsula.

Kim is also looking for greater economic cooperation with the South, as well as relief from sanctions, and the two leaders were also expected to discuss how to jump-start the U.S.-North Korean talks on denuclearization and peace, which have stalled since the Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore.

Moon's chief of staff, however, played down the chance that the summit would produce major progress in nuclear diplomacy.

While the prospect of a joint bid from the two countries to host an event of such magnitude as the Olympic Games remains an ambitious one, President Donald Trump appeared to be fully supportive of the idea.

"North and South Korea will file a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics. Very exciting!" Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning.

....returned home to the United States. Also, North and South Korea will file a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics. Very exciting!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2018

In the joint statement, Moon and Kim also revealed the two Koreas would look to join forces in major sporting events such as the 2020 Olympic Games, but did not elaborate any further.