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Moon says mood for inter-Korean summit not yet ripe

President Moon Jae-in said Saturday that it may be too early to discuss when or if he may hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"There are many expectations, but I believe they might be a little too anxious," Moon said when asked whether he planned to hold an inter-Korean summit in the near future.

The remarks came during his trip to the press center of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, 180 kilometers east of Seoul, according to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.

President Moon Jae-in is greeted by a foreign reporter during his visit to Gangneung Media Center on Saturday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in is greeted by a foreign reporter during his visit to Gangneung Media Center on Saturday. (Yonhap)

The possibility of what would be a third inter-Korean summit was highlighted last week when Kim Jong-un's sister, Yo-jong, delivered a letter and a message from the reclusive North Korean leader inviting the South Korean president to Pyongyang at the earliest date possible.

Moon at that time stressed the need for the two Koreas to create the right conditions for an inter-Korean summit.

He repeated his stance while meeting with local and foreign journalists covering the Winter Olympics.

"We are waiting for the ongoing dialogue between South Korea and the North to lead to talks between the United States and North Korea and to the denuclearization (of North Korea)," he told reporters.

The president noted that both Washington and Pyongyang may also be beginning to see the need for dialogue.

"The views on the need for dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea are also expanding," he said.

Moon welcomed the North's participation in the PyeongChang Olympic Games, insisting it has helped make it a safe and peaceful event.

South Korea and North Korea have technically remained at war since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, as the war ended only with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Pyongyang staged a series of military provocations in the lead-up to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, apparently prompting concerns over the safety of global athletes and visitors to the quadrennial event.

The communist state agreed to take part in the Olympics in three rounds of dialogue with Seoul last month, the first of their kind in more than two years. No North Korean provocation has been reported since.