Moon to hold meeting on North

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Moon to hold meeting on North

President Moon Jae-in plans to hold a meeting with ruling and opposition party leaders next week to update them on recent developments in North Korea ties, an official from the Blue House said Friday.

The envisioned meeting comes after the end of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games held in Pyeongchang, 180 kilometers (113 miles) east of Seoul, between Feb. 9 and 25, and a series of meetings between Moon and high-level North Korean officials who attended the games.

“The president will likely explain the outcome of the PyeongChang Olympic Games, as well as the outcome of his meetings with North Korean delegates to the opening and closing ceremonies,” a Blue House official told reporters, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

In a Feb. 10 meeting with Moon, Kim Yo-jong, a special envoy and younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, relayed her brother’s invitation for the South Korean president to visit Pyongyang for what would be a third inter-Korean summit. Moon earlier noted such a meeting will be possible under the right conditions, which he said may include a resumption of talks between the United States and North Korea and progress in the North’s nuclear issue.

The United States, however, has apparently remained skeptical about the recent rapprochement between the two Koreas that followed the resumption of their bilateral talks in January to discuss the North’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Kim Yong-chol, the North’s point man on South Korea and chief delegate to the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics, told Moon that his country had “enough willingness” to hold bilateral talks with the United States.

The White House said it will first see if the North Korean official’s remarks represented the North’s first step toward denuclearization. U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated Monday that talks with North Korea will only be held under the right conditions.

It will mark Moon’s third meeting with party leaders since taking office in May 2017, though the leader of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party boycotted the two previous gatherings.

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