Published : Feb 18, 2011 - 20:34 Updated : Feb 18, 2011 - 20:34
South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik visited PyeongChang on Friday to give support to its bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games amid an ongoing on-site inspection by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the prime minister's office said.
Kim hosted an official dinner for the 14-member IOC delegation on Friday evening in PyeongChang, located about 180 kilometers east of Seoul in Gangwon Province, and pledged the South Korean government's support for PyeongChang's Winter Olympic campaign, the office said.
The IOC team, led by former IOC vice president Gunilla Lindberg of Sweden, arrived in South Korea earlier this week and has been touring venues in PyeongChang.
"PyeongChang's hosting of the Winter Olympics will greatly contribute to expanding popularity of winter sports in the Asian region," Kim was quoted as saying in his congratulatory speech at the dinner.
The dinner was also attended by other South Korean ministers, including culture minister Choung Byoung-gug and Lee Kun-hee, an IOC member and chairman of Samsung Electronics, according to the office.
Before that, the prime minister attended another dinner for the foreign press and made a similar speech, the office said.
On Saturday, the last day of the IOC evaluation, Kim plans to attend a presentation on security and safety, and explain the South Korean government's effort and preparation for the bid to the IOC members, said the office.
PyeongChang is competing with Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France, for the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The host city will be decided at the IOC General Assembly in Durban, South Africa, on July 6.
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