No talks about uniting Korean Olympic teams for 2018

BY Kayla Ruble  February 9, 2014 at 4:04 PM EDT

The Winter Olympics in Sochi have just begun, but attention is already turning to the 2018 games to be held in South Korea.

Four years from now, the games will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea — not far from the demilitarized zone that divides North and South Korea. Despite hopes that the countries might unite for the games, organizers say the neighboring nations have not talked about the possibility of a joint team.

Some lawmakers have reportedly advocated for uniting the teams from both countries, but the organizing committee chief Kim Jin-sun said the nations have not had “official discussions” about this idea.

“I believe it would contribute to peace, so we will explore some joint programs,” he said. “However, it will be contingent on an improvement in overall inter-Korean relations first. It’s a task we need to try.”

Kim said the committee is currently focusing its energy on securing local sponsorships. Organizers expect these sponsorship deals to bring in $600 million in revenue.

The operational budget for the Pyeongchang games is set at $2 billion, with much of that going towards infrastructure projects such as a high-speed rail line.

The city already has many existing facilities and venues for the competition itself.