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Kim Yo Jong mentions inter-Korean summit

Posted September. 27, 2021 07:26,   

Updated September. 27, 2021 07:26


Kim Yo Jong, deputy department Director of the Workers' Party of Korea, mentioned the possibility of an inter-Korean summit. The U.S. State Department also said, “Washington supports inter-Korean summit, engagement and cooperation,” as these developments increase the possibility that an inter-Korean summit will become a variable to the Korean Peninsula policy for the final months of the Moon Jae-in administration.

“Not only declaring ending of the Korean War but also various matters for improving relations including the reinstallation of an inter-Korean liaison office and a reunion (summit) of the leaders of the two Koreas, could be resolved at an early date through constructive discussions,” Kim Yo Jong said Saturday. On South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s offer for declaring the end of the war, Kim said “an interesting offer” on Friday before mentioning an inter-Korean summit the next day. It is the first time that Pyongyang has mentioned the possibility of an inter-Korean summit since the meeting among South Korea, North Korea and the U.S. at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom in 2019.

The North however put forward sensitive matters as preconditions including the South’s stopping of hostile policies. “All of our acts for self-defense are being denounced as ‘provocations,’” Kim said. “Double standards of South Korea and the U.S. towards North Korea are illogical.” She went on to say, “I urge the South Korean authority to translate into concrete actions to remove double standards that are not fair and to stop hostile policies against the North.”

“Trust that has remained severed since ‘No deal’ at the Pyongyang-Washington summit in Hanoi in 2019 is being restored,” a senior official of the South Korean presidential office said. “Since the inauguration of the Biden administration in the U.S., messages are being exchanged between Pyongyang and Washington and between Seoul and Pyongyang behind the scene. The White House’s follow-up actions will be a determinant for a summit.”

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com