According to Seoul’s presidential office, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s invitation to Moon was conveyed by his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, during Moon’s meeting with the North Korean delegation at Cheong Wa Dae on Saturday.
Kim Yo-jong came to the South on Friday as a special envoy of the North Korean leader.
“Kim Yo-jong delivered Kim Jong-un’s letter to Moon, and conveyed (Kim Jong-un’s) message that he is open to meeting Moon in the near future,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.
|South Korean President Moon Jae-in (right) receives a letter of invitation for inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un through his sister Kim Yo-jong, who visited Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Saturday. (Yonhap)|
“(Kim Yo-jong asked Moon) to visit Pyongyang at a time convenient to him. President Moon responded by saying that the two sides should work on establishing the right conditions to realize the meeting.”
The Cheong Wa Dae spokesman also said the two sides discussed issues regarding inter-Korean relations under a “friendly atmosphere.”
“President Moon said that US-North Korea talks should be held in the near future to improve inter-Korean relations, and asked the North to take a proactive approach to the matter,” Kim Eui-kyeom said.
The North Korean representatives met Moon at the presidential office for a lunch meeting.
It was the first time a member of the North’s ruling Kim family had come to Seoul’s presidential office. North Korea’s nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam, who leads the delegation, is also the highest ranking North Korean to be received at the South Korean presidential office.
Kim Yo-jong, whose presence has drawn far more media attention than the chief delegate, came to the meeting carrying a blue folder, appearing tenser than she had on the previous day, according to pool reports.
The inclusion of Kim Yo-jong in the North’s high-level delegation to the PyeongChang Olympics fed speculation that she may bring a personal message for Moon from her brother. Some local media have gone as far as to describe the meeting as “effectively an inter-Korean summit.”
The North’s delegation arrived in South Korea on Kim Jong-un’s private airplane Friday via Incheon International Airport.
Along with the two Kims, Chairman of the North’s National Sports Guidance Committee Choe Hwi and Chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country Ri Son-gwon also arrived at the presidential office.
In the meeting, Moon was flanked by a number of top aides, including Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok, National Security Council chief Chung Eui-yong, National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon, and Minister of Unification Cho Myoung-gyon.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)