On March 5, 2018, the Moon Jae-in administration sent its first special envoys to North Korea. National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong, Spy Chief Suh Hoon and others were welcomed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his sister and First Deputy Director of the Workers’ Party Kim Yo Jong when they arrived at the State Affairs Commission.
Kim Yo Jong, who offered them great hospitality two years and three months ago, has explicitly rejected South Korea’s offer to send special envoys on Wednesday, calling it “a cheap clown show,” a move that experts say reflects the fast deteriorating inter-Korean relations.
“South Korea staged a cheap clown show on Monday pleading to send its special envoys,” reported state-run news agency Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), publicizing the offer South Korean President Moon Jae-in made on Monday to send Chung and Suh.
Kim Yo Jong “flatly rejected the tactless and sinister proposal” and is deeply offended by the poor judgment and aggressive offer, according to KCNA. “The South Korean leader seems to enjoy sending special envoys to tide over crises, but such preposterous proposals will no longer work,” it added. The Moon administration sent special envoys to the North twice to make summits between Washington and Pyongyang a reality, which was desired by North Korea. However, it is now describing it as an outrageous proposal and a game Seoul plays to overcome a crisis.
Some from progressive parties have expressed concerns that the last hope to rebuild the relations has been dashed and suggest replacing special envoys and waiting for the right time to bring the North back to dialogue. “It would be difficult for Pyongyang to welcome the special envoys who have been deeply involved in what let to current circumstances,” said a source from the South Korean ruling party. “With no clear solution in sight after the rejection, the inter-Korean relations are bound to remain sour.”