Seoul (AsiaNews) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, to visit Pyongyang at the “earliest date” for what could be the third inter-Korean summit, said his sister Kim Yo-jong said this morning at the presidential palace in Seoul.
Kim Yo-jong is in South Korea as part of a North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Today, President Moon’s spokesman described her as a “special envoy” for the North Korean leader.
“While delivering a letter from Kim Jong-un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission, which stated willingness to improve South-North Korea relations, special envoy Kim Yo-jong orally delivered Chairman Kim Jong-un’s invitation (for Moon) to visit the North at a time convenient to him, saying he is willing to meet President Moon Jae-in at the earliest date possible,” presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a press briefing.
North Korea’s ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, who heads the North Korean delegation, was present at this morning’s meeting.
“Let us make it happen by creating the necessary conditions in the future,” President Moon was quoted as saying. “An early resumption of dialogue between the United States and the North is needed also for the development of the South-North Korean relationship,” he said firmly but in a friendly tone.
In recent months, Pyongyang’s nuclear missile programme, along with threats to hit Washington, have pushed the United States to demand new sanctions – eventually backed by the United Nations – and to issue threats of military action against North Korea.
Moon has always reiterated that sanctions must be aimed at bringing North Korea back to talks. However, the United States remains sceptical about Kim Jong-un’s overtures.
In fact, Vice President Mike Pence, who is at the Games, has snubbed Kim Yo-jong.
If the inter-Korean summit between Kim and Moon does take place, it would be the third of its kind, after those of 2000 and 2007, both in Pyongyang.