PM Lee asks US Olympic chief for help in getting Trump to visit PyeongChang

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 24, 2017 - 17:30
  • Updated : Oct 24, 2017 - 17:30

OLYMPIA -- Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon met with US Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst on Tuesday and asked for help in getting US President Donald Trump to visit South Korea for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, officials said.

During their meeting held in the Greek city of Olympia ahead of a ceremony to light the torch for the PyeongChang Games, Lee said he hopes Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will visit the South Korean alpine city during the Olympics.

Probst said he could not make any promises, but that he would make an effort to that end, according to the officials.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (C) poses for a photo with US Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst (L) and IOC member Anita DeFrantz in Greece on Oct. 24, 2017. (Yonhap)

Lee also congratulated Probst on the US winning the right to host the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, saying the 1984 LA Games served as a chance for South Korean sports to debut on the world stage and helped Seoul successfully host the 1988 Games.

Probst was also quoted as telling Lee that he will make every effort to help reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula so as to make PyeongChang an Olympics of peace.

Lee also met with International Olympic Committee Chairman Thomas Bach and assured him that South Korea is doing its best to make PyeongChang a perfect Olympics.

"Concerns, big and small, arise in the course of preparations for the Olympics, and we really appreciate that Chairman Bach keeps sending a message to the entire world that PyeongChang will be a safe and peaceful Olympics," Lee was quoted as saying.

Bach said that he discussed the preparations for PyeongChang with various sports organizations and sports leaders, and all of them told him that South Korea is making good progress and they have 100 percent trust in the efforts of South Korea's government and people, according to officials.

Bach also said that he's trying through various channels to have North Korea participate in the Games. He added that the IOC is studying technical measures to provide the North with an opportunity to take part in PyeongChang.

Lee asked for the IOC's help in increasing the number of South Korean members of the organization so the country can make greater contributions to the committee. Bach said in response he will try to help, according to officials. (Yonhap)