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Samaranch: IOC Won't Give In to North Korea

September 28, 1987

Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee, said that the 1988 Seoul Games "will go on without North Korea," even if there is a boycott.

Samaranch, speaking to a conference of Olympic journalists in Calgary, Canada, said the IOC could not meet North Korea's demand to stage half the events in next year's Summer Olympics.

The IOC has offered to move three full events and parts of two others from Seoul, South Korea, to the communist North.

"We can make changes, but only slight changes," Samaranch said. "Our offer is final."

Meanwhile, Samaranch reiterated that Cuban leader Fidel Castro had intervened in the impasse between the two Koreas.

"I received a letter a week ago from Fidel Castro asking me not to close the door," Samaranch said. "He said it was very important for the world that we reach agreement with North Korea."

But Samaranch, in Calgary for a final inspection tour of the site of the 1988 Winter Olympics, said the IOC cannot meet North Korea's demand.

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