March 06, 2020 11:48
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a letter of sympathy to South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday over the coronavirus epidemic here. Cheong Wa Dae said Moon sent a message back Thursday.
The letter came only a day after Kim's sister Yo-jong attacked the South in florid terms over its "imbecile" condemnation of the North's latest rocket-launcher test.
In the letter, Kim requested South Korea's help in combating African swine flu as well as coronavirus. Moon was quoted by a spokesman as replying, "If North Korea wishes, we are always ready to offer our cooperation in quarantine efforts."
North Korea is also apparently suffering from the spread of the virus and placing large numbers of people in quarantine, though it officially denies that anyone has tested positive for coronavirus.
Moon suggested inter-Korean cooperation in healthcare and disease prevention during a speech commemorating the March 1 Independence Movement.
Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Yoon Do-han said Kim "sent us a message of consolation in our fight against coronavirus and voiced his confidence in our ability to win." He added that Kim offered his "candid thoughts" about the political situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Another government official said the comments "are conducive to a positive outlook on inter-Korean relations. They hinted that the North is relying on the ties between the Korean people since U.S.-North Korean dialogue has been halted."
The last time the North Korean leader sent a personal letter to Moon was in October last year, when the president's mother died.
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