North Korea’s Kim wants more summits with Moon next year - Blue House

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Trump said last week that he was "looking forward" to his second summit with Kim, which the U.S. says may take place early next year.

But stalled nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington had an impact on inter-Korean ties, with the South's plan to host Kim in Seoul this year - as agreed at his summit with President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang in September - going unanswered by the North.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a rare personal letter to his South Korean counterpart, President Moon Jae-in, expressing his willingness to meet again in 2019 and discuss denuclearization on the divided peninsula.

Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un during a welcome parade when the pair met in Pyongyang, North Korea, earlier in 2018. These are the Gaeseong industrial park in North Korea, where South Korean factories use North Korean labor, and the Mount Geumgang resort in North Korea.

It was also the first time since 2007 that a South Korean president had traveled North.

During Moon's visit to Pyongyang in September, Kim promised to pay a return visit to the South's capital Seoul "at an earliest date", sparking speculation he may visit by the end of this year.

It was nearly exactly one year ago, in the wake of Kim's 2018 policy speech, that Trump threatened the North Korean dictator and said his nuclear button was "much bigger and more powerful".

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Through three summits between Moon and Kim this year, the Koreas agreed to a variety of goodwill gestures and vowed to resume economic cooperation when possible, voicing optimism that worldwide sanctions could end to allow such activity.

Kim's New Year address will be keenly watched by neighboring countries, as it is expected to hint at what tone his foreign policy for 2019 would take, Reuters reported.

"Kim also stated that he is willing to meet often with President Moon in 2019 to advance discussions of the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and to resolve together the issue of denuclearising the Korean Peninsula", said Kim Eui-kyeom.

Kim vowed to work towards denuclearisation at his landmark summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June but the two sides have since made little progress, struggling to reschedule a high-level meeting abruptly called off in November.

Kim also lamented not being able to visit Seoul before the end of the year and reaffirmed his intention to do so while "closely watching the situation", the spokesman said.

Post-summit nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang quickly settled into a stalemate as the countries struggled between the sequencing of the North's disarmament and the removal of US -led global sanctions against the North.

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