North Korea has further extended its charm offensive, stressing the importance of inter-Korean exchanges and calling for the continuation of the dialogue momentum created by the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has expressed satisfaction after receiving a report from the delegation including his younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, and said that he felt “it is important to continue making good results by further livening up the warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue,” the Rodong Sinmun reported Tuesday. It was Kim’s second public message in 43 days since his New Year speech. The newspaper added that Kim “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,” implying that Kim may actively engage in a charm offensive before the resumption of the South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises scheduled for April 4.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in held summit talks with Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis on Tuesday and said, “Even the United States is looking favorably upon inter-Korean talks, and has expressed willingness to talk with North Korea.” His comment is understood to indicate that Kim Jong Un’s proposal to hold an inter-Korean summit was met with less-negative-than-expected response from the U.S. side, and that Moon will thus consider the possibility of having such a talk while maintaining a firm alliance with Washington. Meanwhile at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong reportedly had a phone conversation with his U.S. counterpart Herbert R. McMaster and discussed the results of Kim Yo Jong’s recent visit to the South.
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