December 31, 2018 09:30
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a rare letter to President Moon Jae-in expressed hope that the two will meet "frequently" in the New Year, Cheong Wa Dae said Sunday. Kim also apparently sent an "amicable" letter to U.S. President Donald Trump.
Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters, "Kim offered warm greetings as 2018 comes to an end and called on both Koreas to pursue peace and prosperity together next year."
Kim Jong-un also expressed "regret" that a much-anticipated visit to Seoul did not materialize this year.
Moon said in a Facebook post, "I welcome Kim's intention to meet frequently in the New Year and discuss measures to achieve peace and prosperity and denuclearization."
The two-page letter was delivered by hand, according to Cheong Wa Dae, though it did not say by whom.
There was speculation that the letter was delivered via a hotline between South Korean National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon and Kim Jong-un's right-hand man Kim Yong-chol.
The Cheong Wa Dae spokesman told reporters Kim "voiced his strong intention to visit Seoul while watching the situation."
Nam Joo-hong at Kyonggi University said the letter "supports the South Korean government's position that inter-Korean relations can spearhead U.S.-North Korean ties."
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