International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Monday he plans on visiting North Korea when the Winter Olympics conclude to continue in an effort to facilitate dialogue between the North and South.
Bach said he plans to accept North Korea’s invitation, which came as part of an agreement between the IOC and North and South Korea. The games in Pyeongchang conclude on Feb. 25, but a date has not yet been set for the parties to convene in North Korea afterward.
The move comes after Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to compete under a unified Olympic team, which has been interpreted as a willingness to restart political dialogue between the two countries, according to Reuters.
“All parties concerned have welcomed this invitation to North Korea,” Bach said. “We are talking about this convenient date in order to continue the dialogue on the sports side. We will see when this is going to happen.”
The IOC was able to portray itself as an enabler of peace when North and South Korean leaders shook hands at Friday’s opening ceremony. The opportunity takes the spotlight off of the Russian doping scandal that has been the center of attention for years.
North Korea extended an invitation through Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, for South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit the North for further diplomatic talks.
“We can set the symbols, we can show that it is worthwhile sitting down together discussing negotiating, and that then you can come to get good result,” Bach said. “For our side, for the sports side, this dialogue will continue.”