ZAGREB, YUGOSLAVIA, JULY 9 -- The president of the International Olympic Committee said today the 1988 Olympic Games will either be held in Seoul, South Korea, "or there will no Games at all."
Juan Antonio Samaranch said the political unrest in the South Korean capital that threatened the Olympics had declined greatly recently and he said he was confident the Games would be staged and be "very successful."
Samaranch was quoted in a London newspaper earlier this week as saying virtually the same thing. But today's statement, at a news conference during the World University Games, was believed to be the first time he had spoken publicly about the unrest in Seoul.
Several cities, including 1984 Olympic host Los Angeles, were prompted by the unrest in Seoul to offer to take over the Summer Games if Seoul withdrew or if the IOC decided Seoul could not stage the Games.
Samaranch said that, at this stage, the only real problem appeared to be in convincing North Korea to take part in the Seoul Olympics.
North Korea has demanded that it be named the co-host of the Games, staging eight of the 23 sports, and has threatened a boycott if its demand is not met. The IOC has offered Pyongyang the archery and table tennis competition and parts of the soccer and cycling programs.
A fourth set of meetings between the IOC and delegations from both Koreas will open on Tuesday at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
"We are going to meet the North Koreans for the fourth time on July 14 and we hope to have an agreement," Samaranch said.
"We have made our offers to them. We can make some minor changes and we are prepared to listen to them, but in no way can we accept that North and South Korea share all the sports."