Kim Jong Un Wants to 'Write New History' on South Korea Reunification
Albanian Daily News
Published March 6, 2018
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center right) sits with a visiting South Korean delegation in Pyongyang and other high-level North Koreans.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told a high-ranking South Korean government delegation that he wants to "write a new history of national reunification," during an unprecedented meeting between the two sides in Pyongyang Monday.
North Korean state media released images and comments from Kim's dinner meeting with the South Korean officials, who included Seoul's national security chief Chung Eui-yong. South Korea confirmed the meeting, which it said lasted for four hours from 6 p.m. Monday local time and included Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju and sister Kim Yo Jong.
It's believed to be the first time Kim has spoken face-to-face with officials from the South since he took power in 2011. It was also the first time a South Korean delegation had ever set foot in the main building of Korean Workers' Party, according to South Korean officials.
North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) described the encounter as an "openhearted talk" over issues aimed at "improving the North-South relations and ensuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula."
The Seoul delegation also delivered a personal letter from South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Kim, according to KCNA.
The South Koreans' trip north marks the latest development in President Moon's efforts to broker a diplomatic agreement to the crisis brought about by North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons. The visit comes in the wake of the thaw brought about by North Korea's attendance at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics last month.
The meeting marks a dramatic departure from 2017, when a string of North Korean weapons tests and hostile rhetoric from US President Donald Trump and Kim heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
"Kim Jong Un as a leader has kept himself highly circumscribed. This is not someone who has met with many non-North Koreans in almost six years," said John Delury, a professor at Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Relations in Seoul.
"It's a major signal of his personal commitment to this process and it gives the South Koreans, for the first time, someone can get a read on Kim Jong Un himself."