In a new letter, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un says he is still committed to denuclearization and the trilateral peace negotiations still going on between North Korea, South Korea, and the United States.
The two-page letter from Jong-Un to South Korean President Moon Jae-In comes amid some turbulence in the negotiating process after striking historical success earlier in the year.
ABC News reports the North Korean leader used the letter to reaffirm his commitment to seeing-through the process into the new year. The contents of the letter remained hidden until a South Korean government spokesperson shared them.
Per the report:
The two-page letter, stamped with Kim’s signature golden logo, arrived on Sunday addressed to “Revered President Moon Jae-in.” Only the first sentence was released to the public.
“Chairman Kim Jong Un emphasized the bold step the two Korean leaders have taken to overcome the long-pending confrontation between North and South to meet three times in one year alone,” read the letter, according to Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman for the South’s presidential office.
Moon posted a response on Facebook, saying he “welcome[s] chairman Kim’s intentions” to hold further talks.
“[Chairman Kim] redefined his standpoint in actively carrying out agreements in the inter-Korean summit as well as the US-DPRK summit,” Moon wrote, continuing, “I welcome chairman Kim’s intentions to meet several times in the new year to find solution for denuclearization and to solve practical problems in achieving peace and prosperity.”
President Trump recently expressed an interest in meeting with Jong-Un again after the two met for the first time over the summer. During their first meeting, Trump and Jong-Un negotiated and signed a denuclearization deal.
“Many people have asked how we are doing in our negotiations with North Korea – I always reply by saying we are in no hurry, there is wonderful potential for great economic success for that country,” Trump tweeted earlier in December. “Kim Jong Un sees it better than anyone and will fully take advantage of it for his people. We are doing just fine!”
Here’s more on the letter, via the Wall Street Journal:
The letter comes amid stalled nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea, and as U.S.-led sanctions intended to dissuade Pyongyang from pursuing its nuclear-weapons program remain in place. President Trump and Moon have vowed to maintain the sanctions until the complete denuclearization of North Korea.
Kim’s letter addressed a planned trip to Seoul this year that failed to materialize. In September, Messrs. Kim and Moon agreed during a summit to arrange Mr. Kim’s visit to Seoul before 2019, in what would have been the first visit by a North Korean leader to the South Korean capital.
“Chairman Kim expressed deep disappointment that a preplanned visit to Seoul this year could not happen. Chairman Kim further showed a strong will to pursue a visit to Seoul, and continue to resolve the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization problem,” the South Korean presidential spokesman said.
Kim’s visit to Seoul would have resulted in the fourth summit with Moon, and was expected potentially to help resume stalled nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang. Analysts have suspected Kim chose not to come after Messrs. Moon and Trump pledged to retain sanctions on North Korea.