South Korean President Moon Jae-in says he is making efforts to arrange a visit by North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un to Seoul, citing a “desperate need” for both sides to improve relations, amid a deadlock in US-North Korea talks.
Moon said in a speech on Tuesday that both Seoul and Pyongyang had to “make efforts together so that the conditions for Chairman Kim Jong-un’s reciprocal visit can be arranged at an early date.”
“In a time of deadlock in US-North Korea talks — and where we are even concerned about a step backward in inter-Korean relations — we are in desperate need of practical ways to improve inter-Korean cooperation,” he added.
Moon, who has long been pushing for talks between Washington and Pyongyang, said once again that “the momentum for US-North Korea talks must continue.”
The South Korean president also said he was “willing to meet repeatedly and talk ceaselessly” with Kim in North Korea if necessary.
Moon visited Pyongyang in September 2018, when the two Korean leaders agreed to take a step closer to peace by turning the Korean Peninsula into a “land of peace without nuclear weapons and nuclear threats.”
Inter-Korean talks have, however, stalled amid a deadlock in talks between Washington and Pyongyang. The US has been refusing to offer any sanctions relief to the North even as Pyongyang has taken several unilateral steps as signs of goodwill since 2017, including demolishing a major nuclear test site.
There have also been concerns about a rise in tensions recently as North Korea has resumed its missile testing because the US missed a deadline to take action.
Kim called off a two-year moratorium on nuclear and missile tests last week. He also said the world would soon witness “a new strategic weapon” to be possessed by Pyongyang.
The North has long been under harsh sanctions by the United Nations and the US over its nuclear and missile programs.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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