Culture minister to lead gov’t delegation for Beijing Winter Olympics


Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hwang Hee from Feb. 4-20 will attend the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics as the leader of the government delegation.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Jan. 25 said he will attend official events in China as head of the delegation such as the opening ceremony on Feb. 4.

Minister Hwang will watch the games to encourage and support Korean athletes as well as aid and inspect sites to ensure the national team's safety during the event. He will also engage in sports diplomacy by meeting key Olympic figures to promote and request support for a successful hosting of the 2024 Gangwon Winter Youth Olympic Games in Korea's Gangwon-do Province.

On the dispatch of the delegation, the ministry said, "The final decision was comprehensively based on multiple factors: Korea's role as the host country of the previous Winter Olympics, the significance of the Beijing Winter Olympics, the custom of attending the Olympics, Korea-China relations and the COVID-19 situation."

Beijing said it "welcomes" the visit to China of Korean National Assembly Speaker Park Byeong-Seug during the Olympics.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Jan. 25 told a regular briefing, "China and Korea are each other’s important neighbor. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between our two countries," adding, "Korea is the host country of the last Winter Games. It has been actively supporting China in hosting a successful Winter Games, which is in keeping with the Olympic spirit and embodies the bilateral friendship."