February 12, 2018 09:24
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Yo-jong on Saturday delivered an invitation to Pyongyang from her brother to President Moon Jae-in.
Moon met with Kim Yo-jong for about two hours and 40 minutes at Cheong Wa Dae.
Moon was quoted as saying, "Let's create the conditions to make it possible." Over lunch, Moon also said, "U.S.-North Korean dialogue must be held soon in order for inter-Korean relations to progress."
But there was no mention of the North Korean nuclear issue or joint U.S.-South Korean military drills, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
Kim Yo-jong arrived at Cheong Wa Dae carrying a blue folder with a letter from her brother that bore the official North Korean emblem.
Cheong Wa Dae said it is diplomatic practice not to reveal the contents of a personal letter from a foreign head of state. The letter was less than a page long and was handwritten by Kim Jong-un.
He reportedly wrote, "I request that you visit Pyongyang at a time convenient for you."
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was also in South Korea and keen to enforce his government's hard line on the North, ignoring Kim Yo-jong as they stood close to each other in the stands at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on Friday.
Joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises have been postponed until after the Olympics, but the U.S. insists that no further delays are possible.
The North Korean leader shows no sign of budging on his nuclear program, having conducted four nuclear tests since he took power in 2012 and almost perfecting an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the continental U.S.
That means the "conditions" Moon mentioned for his visit to Pyongyang are unlikely to materialize. A summit without any mention of denuclearization would face international condemnation, and weakening the U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula is also off the table.
Nonetheless Cheong Wa Dae seems bent on capitalizing on the momentum, though it is unclear how the impasse can be overcome.
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