South Korea’s Moon seeks Kim Jong-un visit to Seoul

Source:AFP Published: 2020/1/7 20:58:41

The photo shows Kim Jong Un (R), top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), shakes hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in after a joint press conference in Pyongyang, the DPRK, on Sept. 19, 2018. Photo:Xinhua

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday called for better relations with North Korea so leader Kim Jong-un can visit Seoul, despite Pyongyang's abandonment of its nuclear and missile test moratoriums.

Moon's appeal came after Kim threatened a demonstration of a "new strategic weapon" at a four-day ruling party meeting last week, where he never mentioned South Korea.

Since the breakdown of Kim's summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam last year - which left nuclear negotiations largely deadlocked - Pyongyang has repeatedly lashed out at South Korea, saying it has "nothing to talk" about any more with Seoul.

One senior official has gone as far as describing South ­Korea's presidency as a "shy dog barking more wildly."

But Moon, who has long favored engagement with the nuclear-armed North Korea, doubled down on his dovish approach.

"I hope South and North ­Korea can make efforts together so that the conditions for Chairman Kim Jong-un's reciprocal visit can be arranged at an early date," Moon said in his annual New Year address.

The invitation for Kim to visit Seoul dates from the two leaders' last summit, in Pyongyang in September 2018, when the peninsula was basking in a diplomatic rapprochement.

Analysts suggested Moon's call was now unrealistic.


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