North Korea's Kim meets International Olympic Committee chief in Pyongyang

Olympic Committee President Meets With Kim Jong Un in North Korea

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach met with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Friday and said the North Korean leader is committed to having his country participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the Beijing Winter Games in 2022.

It added that Bach toured the May 1 Stadium and various other sports venues in the North Korean capital. DPRK is an acronym for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.

Kim in return expressed his gratitude towards the IOC's unconditional cooperation with the North Korea during the Olympics event in spite of rough political conditions between the two Koreas.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Bach told Kim the trip was to "express the most heartfelt thanks" to North Korea's leader for helping make February's the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics a Games that were "symbolic of peace".

Delegation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) led by President Thomas Bach, right, arrive at the Pyongyang Airport in North Korea, Thursday, March 29, 2018.

It was not known if Bach would meet during his three-day visit with leader Kim Jong Un, who has just returned from a summit in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping, his first known trip overseas as leader.

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During his three day visit, Bach also met with North Korea's Sports Minister and National Olympic Committee chairman Kim Il-guk.

Bach's trip to Pyongyang comes after the International Olympic Committee played a big part in allowing North Korea to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics last month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The isolated, nuclear-armed regime rarely hosts foreign dignitaries but recent weeks have seen a flurry of diplomacy, with Kim making his first foreign trip as leader to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and inviting him to visit Pyongyang.

Hopes have been raised that the North Korean leader may be willing to discuss his nuclear weapons program and other measures to reduce the threat of war, possibly in exchange for security guarantees and an easing of the worldwide sanctions that have severely pinched the already struggling North Korean economy.

The IOC supported North Korean athletes financiallly and in kind in their effort to qualify for Pyeongchang.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seen writing, in this still image taken from video released on Wednesday.

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