North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made a striking gesture which may raise prospects for easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula by inviting South Korean President Moon Jae-in to match in Pyongyang.
The invitation was delivered by Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, throughout a Saturday meeting at Moon’s presidential compound in Seoul per day after the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in South Korea. A Moon-Kim summit would mark the first time leaders of two countries have met in 11 years.
Moon’s office provided contradictory reports of whether he’d visit Pyongyang. A Blue House official initially said the president had approved Kim’so offer, but that was denied by main spokesman Yoon Young-chan.
“Exactly what the president stated exactly is let’s create the right circumstances to make it happen,” Yoon said in a statement. “And we hope you take the remark as it’s. ”
Shin Jee-yeon, another official in Moon’s office, later told reporters: “ ;We should read more into it there are preconditions which should be fulfilled rather than calling it a conditional acceptance. ”
Even though a summit in Pyongyang would indicate heating ties to the peninsula, in addition, it risks driving a wedge at the alliance between the U.S. and South Korea. President Donald Trump has sought to maximize pressure on North Korea to convince Kim to give up his nuclear weapons, ” along with his administration hasn’t ruled out a preemptive assault.
North’s state-run media KCNA reported on Sunday the delegation had an “fair and open minded” discussion with South Korea’s agents on improving connections, and clarified discussions with Moon as “honest and warm. ”
Moon sought to reassure U.S. Vice President Mike Pence the allies stayed in lockstep despite North Korea’s combined appearance at the Olympics.
“For all that President Moon has done in outreach and talks around the Olympics and inter-Korean talks, there is no daylight between the United States and the Republic of Korea and Japan about the requirement to continue to isolate North Korea economically and economically until they abandon their atomic and ballistic-missile program,’’ Pence told reporters Saturday aboard Air Force One.
Pence understood of the invitation but didn’t discuss it with Moon Saturday while they watched a speed-skating event collectively, a senior White House official said. The invitation doesn’t undermine Pence’s message or purpose of his trip to the Olympics in any way, the official stated.
In the dinner meeting, Moon gave a toast to Inter-Korean peace and prosperity.
“The whole world is watching us here now and expectations on the two Koreas are large,” Moon stated.
‘We are One’
Kim Yo Jong told Moon that relations would grow quickly once he meets along with her brother. She’s the first family member of the Kim dynasty to put foot at the south.
“I expect President Moon will have the leading role to start a new chapter for unification and reach a legacy that’ll be remembered for long,” she explained.
In a dinner later on, Kim Yo Jong stated she didn’t feel like a stranger in South Korea even though it had been her first trip. She subsequently watched the unified Korean women’s hockey team shed its first game against Switzerland by a final score of 8-0.
During the match, North Korea’s cheering squad chanted “we are just one” and sang reunification songs, even as Korean pop songs played throughout the stadium.
Leaders of the two Koreas have only purchased twice because the peninsula was divided in 1948. They’re still at war.
The final summit was held in October 2007 between Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong Il, the father of the current North Korean chief. The pair signed a peace declaration calling to finish the armistice with a permanent treaty, but progress stalled and the two sides remain in a stalemate.
The first summit was in June 2000 between Kim Dae-jung, a proponent of the so called Sunshine Policy, and Kim Jong Il. This led to family reunions until ties soured under conservative President Lee Myung-bak.
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