The visit to Beijing has done a world of good for Kim Jong-un who met the IOC president Thomas Bach in Pyongyang and discussed the prospects of his country’s participation in future international games. Kim is focusing on the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 2022 beijing winter games.

New York Post reports that Thomas Bach told sources in the media about the interaction he had with Kim while watching a football match at Pyongyang’s May Day Stadium. Bach also added that Kim was all praises for the way IOC handled the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Kim is changing

According Thomas Bach, the leader of North Korea has realized that sports can contribute to the betterment of society in terms of education and health. Kim Jong-un has apparently confided in Bach that his country’s active participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics and both the Koreas marching under a common flag has prepared the groundwork for a peaceful dialogue.

Bach is the first foreign official to meet Kim after his return from Beijing. The IOC president was in Pyongyang to discuss development of sports in North Korea and the preparation of its athletes for subsequent international events like the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

Thomas Bach has added that the leader of North Korea believes sports can play a major role in the development of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The signs are positive

The visit to Beijing appears to have influenced the outlook of Kim Jong-un and he is expressing his thoughts on subjects like the future of sports in North Korea. This was his first known trip abroad since he took over the reins in 2011 following the death of his father. He is slated to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April and US President Donald Trump in May.

There are also possibilities of a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Kim.

Thomas Bach has met the sports minister of North Korea who has agreed that the country will participate in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

Obviously, the 2018 Winter Olympics in Seoul have broken the ice and kindled hopes of normalcy returning to the Korean peninsula.

The tension in the region had led to threats of a nuclear confrontation which appear to have receded. However, the sudden change in the attitude of Kim is strange and could be attributed to the effects of international sanctions that must have had a direct impact on the economy of North Korea.