Seoul : North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday pledged efforts to continue the reconciliation with its arch-rival South Korea, as relations between the countries have warmed rapidly over the last few days.
Kim welcomed back the high-level delegation from Pyeongchang in South Korea, that was led by the North Korean ceremonial head of state, Kim-Yong nam. The delegation also included his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, who was the “special envoy” to Kim, the Yonhap news agency reported.
During a meeting with the delegation on Monday, the North Korean leader said in a statement, as quoted by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), “It is important to continue making good results by further livening up the warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue created by the strong desire and common will of the North and the South with the Winter Olympics as a momentum.” Yong-nam, who is the chairman of the Presidium of the North Korean assembly, reported details of their South Korean visit to Kim.
Yo-jong made a detailed report about her meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, as well as her observation of the movement of the United States’ side. She briefly met US Vice-President Mike Pence, who was in South Korea to attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Games.
“After receiving the delegation’s report, I have expressed satisfaction over it. Very impressive were the features of the South side, which specially prioritised the visit of the members of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and expressed thanks for them,” Kim said, as quoted by the KCNA.
The North Korean “set forth in detail the orientation of the improvement of the North-South relations and gave important instructions to the relevant field to take practical measures for it.”
After tensions on the Korean Peninsula, owing to North Korea’s persistent nuclear missile, the two Koreas made a flurry of agreements on inter-Korean exchanges during their visit to South Korea last week.
North Korea on Saturday proposed an inter-Korean summit to be held in Pyongyang and invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in for the same.
There have been two inter-Korean summits so far, one in 2000 and an another in 2007. If Moon accepts the invitation, then this would pave the way for what could be the third meeting of the inter-Korean summit between the two countries.
President Moon and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon also called on the North Korean delegation.
Yo-jong’s visit to South Korea was the first visit by a member of the ruling Kim family ever since the Korean War ended in 1953.
The North Korean delegation’s visit to South Korea was the first trip since August 2009, when a high-level North Korean delegation attended the funeral of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who held the first-ever inter-Korean summit with then North Korean leader late Kim Jong-il in 2000.