The South Korean government is sending 200 tons of Jeju tangerines to the North. The present comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gave two tons of pine mushrooms during the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang in September. Some say the gift signifies that there is still a possibility of Kim visiting the South, including a visit to Mt. Halla on the South Korean resort island of Jeju, within this year.
The South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae announced that they sent tangerines to the Sunan international airport in Pyongyang from Jeju Airport using four military planes (C-130) four time on Sunday. Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung and presidential secretary for unification Seo Ho boarded on the planes. The tangerines contained in 20,000 10-kilogram boxes will be sent to Pyongyang in four more deliveries through Monday.
Many believe that the surprising gift is given with the purpose of inviting Kim to the South within this year. Jeju Gov. Won Hee-ryong climbed Mt. Halla Saturday to survey the mountain. “It is not easy to make it to the top on foot," Won said. "We are reviewing ways to use a helicopter (if Kim visits)."
While South Korea is making efforts to improve inter-Korean relations, the U.S. has announced to ratchet up sanctions against North Korea. “The United States will continue to exert unprecedented diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea,” U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who departed Washington Sunday for his 7-day trip to the Asia Pacific region, had told The Washington Post on Friday (local time). “We call on all countries in the Indo-Pacific to maintain the pressure campaign, including sanctions, until we achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
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