In a letter to the South Korean government, Kim Jong Un promises to meet “often” with his counterpart in 2019, to discuss the denuclearization of the peninsula.
It’s a very unusual letter that Kim Jong Un just sent to her neighbor to the south, President Moon Jae-in. In the end-of-year letter, according to a spokesman for the South Korean presidency, the North Korean leader “expressed his intention to meet Mr. Moon in 2019”. He also said he wanted to promote peace and “resolve together the problem of the denuclearization of the peninsula“.
In 2018, the North Korean leader met three times with his South Korean counterpart: twice in Panmunjom, a border village between the two countries, and once in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.
During this last visit, in September, Kim Jong Un promised to visit the South Korean capital, Seoul, “as soon as possible”. Rumor had it that he would go there before the end of the year. The trip has still not taken place, which he says “much to regret” in his letter. The spokesman for the South Korean president added that Kim “expressed a firm desire to visit Seoul to talk about the future.”
Two countries still at war
The year 2018 saw a spectacular break between the two countries, culminating in a historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in June in Singapore. The US president and the North Korean dictator are committed to the “complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”, a vague formula that is open to all interpretations.
Since then, the two countries have come to terms with its meaning and accuse each other of bad faith and dragging their feet. Some accuse Pyongyang of not having made any concrete commitment to denuclearization and consider it highly unlikely that he will give up his nuclear weapons.
On paper, the two Koreans are still at war, since the Korean War (1950-1953) ended with a ceasefire and not a peace treaty.