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(2nd LD) N. Korean leader proposes inter-Korean summit with Moon

2018/02/10 15:55

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(ATTN: UPDATES with more details from 6th para)

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's reclusive leader Kim Jong-un has asked South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang at the "earliest date" possible for what will be a third inter-Korean summit, Kim's sister told the South Korean leader Saturday.

The invitation was delivered in a meeting between Moon and the North Korean leader's sister, Yo-jong.

Kim Yo-jong was earlier considered part of a high-level North Korean delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, but Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said she was here as a special envoy of the North Korean leader.

"While delivering a letter from Kim Jong-un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission, which contained his stated willingness to improve South-North Korea relations, special envoy Kim Yo-jong orally delivered Chairman Kim Jong-un's invitation (for Moon) to visit the North at a time convenient to him, saying he is willing to meet President Moon Jae-in at the earliest date possible," the spokeswman told a press briefing.

Moon apparently cited the conditions necessary for an inter-Korean summit.

"Let us make it happen by creating the necessary conditions in the future," he was quoted as saying.

The South Korean president also stressed the need for the communist North to resume its dialogue with the United States.

"An early resumption of dialogue between the United States and the North is needed also for the development of the South-North Korean relationship," he said, according to his spokesman.

Saturday's meeting also involved the North's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, who led what apparently turned out to be a 21-member delegation to the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics on Friday.

The Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said the meeting at Cheong Wa Dae was held in a "friendly" mood where the two sides exchanged their views on a wide range of issues, including inter-Korean ties and other matters concerning the Korean Peninsula.

bdk@yna.co.kr

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