DPRK's Kim seeks more inter-Korean meetings in letter to ROK's Moon
Updated 15:24, 02-Jan-2019
Kim Jong Un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), has sent a letter to Moon Jae-in, president of the Republic of Korea (ROK), calling for more inter-Korean exchanges and continued efforts to build peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula next year, the Blue House said Sunday.
The letter commemorated the detente on the Peninsula this year, including the three summits between the leaders of the two countries.
"Chairman Kim said that the two leaders have induced practical and aggressive measures that go beyond the long-running confrontation by meeting three times in a year and emphasized that they have liberated their people from military tensions and fear of war," spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said.
Kim said he was sorry his plan to visit Seoul this year, decided at his third summit with Moon in Pyongyang in September, fell through. He also expressed his "strong resolve" to make it happen in the future while monitoring the situation, the spokesperson added.
After receiving the letter, ROK President Moon Jae-in expressed gratitude to DPRK leader Kim Jong Un for his continued efforts to build peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.
Moon noted that ROK "remains unchanged in welcoming" Kim's possible trip to Seoul and said he is very glad that Kim renewed his commitment to make joint efforts toward denuclearization, according to Yonhap.
"Even though there will be a lot of difficulties going forward, our hearts will be opened to each other depending on how much effort we make," Moon wrote in Facebook.
Relations between Seoul and Pyongyang improved markedly in 2018 as Kim made a series of reconciliatory gestures – including a historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in June in Singapore.
The leaders of the two countries held three summits this year. During their first ever meeting in Panmunjom on April 27, they signed the Panmunjom Declaration, pledging to ease military tensions and strive for complete denuclearization.
Since then, exchanges between the two sides have gradually increased. They organized high-level talks, restored military hotlines and held reunions for separated families. Last Wednesday, a groundbreaking ceremony for rail and road connection was held in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong.
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(Cover image: DPRK leader Kim Jong Un (L) shakes hands with ROK President Moon Jae-in during their first inter-Korean summit at the Peace House in the truce village of Panmunjom, April 27, 2018. /VCG photo)