It’s true that little progress has been made in ridding North Korea of its nuclear weapons since the historic summit between North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump on 12 June last year.
But then it was never going to be a fast and easy process.
Trump’s detractors would have you believe the summit was a waste of time. But the goodwill established between the two leaders remains the world’s best hope at seeing peace return to the Korean peninsula.
In a fresh sign of that hope, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported on Monday that Kim’s sent a ‘conciliatory message’ to US President Donald Trump as nuclear negotiations continue to stall.
The North Korean Leader’s ‘letter-like’ message to the US president was delivered on Friday. The channel in which it was delivered was unspecified, according to the newspaper report. It cited an unnamed diplomatic source.
While the article didn’t include details of the letter, it did say that it related to talks between the two nations.
Kim Jong-un is keen to hold more inter-Korean summits
It was reported on Sunday that South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in’s office said that Kim had also sent a letter to Moon, outlining that the North Korean leader is keen to hold more inter-Korean summits in 2019, with the aim of denuclearising the peninsula.
When contacted by Reuters, both the US State Department and the US Embassy in Seoul had no immediate comment regarding the report of Kim’s message to the US president.
In June, Trump and Kim met for a summit in Singapore, where Kim signed and vowed to work on denuclearising North Korea.
Since then, it has been a struggle on both sides to make any progress. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol were meant to meet, but after abruptly cancelling the meeting in November, a date has yet to be rescheduled.
Pyongyang’s state media has slammed the State Department for tightening sanctions, but has commended Trump for his ‘willingness’ to continue the dialogue between the US and North Korea.
The mired negotiations hasn’t only impacted the relationship between North Korea and the US, but also inter-Korean ties. This is evidenced by Kim’s unrealised plan to visit Seoul, which was organised and agreed to during their summit in September in Pyongyang.
The Chosun Ilbo report also stated that in the letter to Moon, Kim said he would visit the South ‘in the near future’, after his New Year message on Tuesday.
The New Year address is watched closely by neighbouring countries, and is a rare public appearance for the leader. The message is seen by many as ‘setting the tone for his domestic and foreign policies’, as reported by RAW.
According to the South Korean president’s spokesman, Kim apologised in a letter to Moon that his planned trip to Seoul didn’t go ahead. As RAW reports, Kim expressed his ‘strong resolve’ to monitor the situation and make the meeting happen.
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