altApril 14 - A row has broken out in South Korea between officials from Pyeongchang and Busan over which cities should be allowed to bid to host the Olympics.


Pyeongchang wants to host the 2018 Winter Olympics while Busan is planning a bid for the 2020 Summer Games.


South Korean officials want to concentrate their efforts on one event but Busan, which is 111 miles east of the capital Seoul, which hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics claim that they should be allowed to bid.


The city's Mayor Mayor Hur Nam-sik said: "Busan got the KOC (Korean Olympic Committee) nod in its bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics in 1997.

"But because the Government favoured the Winter Olympics, Busan gave way to Pyeongchang.

"Now, it has failed in the past two bids, so we are campaigning on the back of passionate support from Busan citizens.''

Busan is the second largest city in Korea and has held several international events, including the Asian Games in 2002, the official 2002 World Cup Draw and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2005.

The application deadline for the 2018 Winter Olympics is October 15.

Nam-sik said: "I do not mean to put a damper on Pyeongchang's Olympic bid, but we want the KOC and the Government to judge the two sides fairly.


After that, we will accept any decision.

"We want a public hearing.''



Pyeongchang, which failed in bids to host the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, claims it does not care whether Busan bids for 2020 or not.


Han Man-soo, the director general of Gangwon International Sports Committee, said: "We do not mind whether Busan hosts the Summer Games or not.

"And the IOC (International Oympic Committee) will make the schedule for the 2020 event in September 2011, so Busan can prepare its bid after PyeongChang is done.''

The KOC is siding with Pyeongchang.

Park Yong-sung, the president of the KOC, has already promised support for its third bid.

He said: "PyeongChang is well prepared to host the Olympics.


"I will back Pyeongchang if it is officially confirmed as South Korea's candidate.

"The process to decide the host city of 2018 Winter Olympics has not yet started and the decision is due in July 2011. I will do my best until the day my term ends in January 2013.''

Shin Park-jae, the head of the KOC's Evaluation Committee, also backed Pyeongchang.


He said: "It is surprising to see that it has improved so much better than before.'

"Despite bitter setbacks, we should try again to host the Winter Olympics for Korea."