President Moon Jae-in (right) poses with IOC President Thomas Bach for a commemorative photo after awarding him a Cheongryong Medal, at Cheong Wa Dae on March 8. (Cheong Wa Dae)

By Kang Gahui and Sohn JiAe

President Moon Jae-in gave International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach a Cheongryong Medal, the country’s highest sporting award, at Cheong Wa Dae on March 8.

With the medal, President Moon honored the IOC leader for his contributions to making the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games such a success and helping to make it possible for North Korean athletes to be part of the Games.

“Thanks to the IOC’s active efforts and support, Pyongyang came to take part in the Olympic Games. It also allowed the two Koreas to send special envoys to each other while enabling possible dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea and, also, an inter-Korean summit,” President Moon said, saying that it was “such an amazing accomplishment.”

The IOC president responded by saying that, “The PyeongChang Games have opened more new horizons than expected. I’m so grateful for President Moon’s contribution to making them a success.” He then called for President Moon and the Korean people to continue to have such unwavering faith in the Olympic spirit, not only for the Korean Peninsula but also for the world as a whole.