March 06, 2018
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea plans to send a special envoy to North Korea in response to an invitation from leader Kim Jong Un, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in a phone call on Thursday. The two presidents discussed recent visits to the South by high-level North Korean officials, the presidential Blue House in Seoul said in a statement.Breaking news, you can visit shine news official website.
The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang last month gave a boost to recent engagement between the two Koreas after more than a year of sharply rising tensions over the North’s missile programme and its sixth and largest nuclear test in defiance of United Nations sanctions.
"(Moon and Trump) agreed to continue to make efforts to head towards the Korean peninsula’s denuclearisation by maintaining the momentum of South-North dialogue,” the Blue House statement said.
In Washington, a White House statement on the two leaders’ call said Moon briefed Trump"on developments regarding North Korea and inter-Korean talks” but did not elaborate.
"The president wants to continue working with South Korea. It’s a strong ally. We have no daylight between the two of us. We’re going to continue those conversations,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters later on Thursday.
"The ultimate goal is to denuclearise the peninsula. That’s what we’re focused on and we’re excited about any steps moving forward in that process,” she said. In sending an envoy to Pyongyang, Moon said he would be seeking to reciprocate for the senior delegations sent to the Olympics by Kim Jong Un, including his sister, Kim Yo Jong, the first visit by a member of the North’s ruling bloodline since the 1950-53 Korean War.
Kim Yo Jong delivered her brother’s invitation for Moon to visit Pyongyang. Such a visit would mark the first inter-Korean summit since 2007. Moon is considering South Korea’s intelligence service chief Suh Hoon and Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon as a possible special envoy to discuss the proposal, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Other candidates include Moon’s chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong and Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, the officials said.
Suh and Cho served in an earlier liberal administration that championed the"sunshine” policy of inter-Korean engagement.
A Unification Ministry spokesman told a news briefing on Friday Moon would send an envoy"soon”, once preparations had been made.
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