Kim Jong Un sends rare letter to South Korean leader after extraordinary year

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a rare personal letter to his South Korean counterpart, President M...

Posted: Dec 31, 2018 6:54 AM
Updated: Dec 31, 2018 6:54 AM

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.

Wrapping up an extraordinary year in which the two leaders met three times, Kim shared his wish to go together towards peace and prosperity, according to Moon's office.

Arms control and disarmament

Asia

Continents and regions

East Asia

International relations

International relations and national security

Kim Jong Un

Military

Military weapons

Moon Jae-in

North Korea

Nuclear weapons

Political Figures - Intl

South Korea

Weapons and arms

Weapons of mass destruction

Donald Trump

North Korea nuclear development

Political Figures - US

Kim added that he was sorry his plan to visit Seoul later this year -- in what was to be their fourth meeting of 2018 -- did not take place as agreed at their third summit in Pyongyang in September.

But he expressed a strong will to visit the South Korean capital in the future.

In response, Moon said on his social media account that he was "very glad" to see Kim's "willingness to meet often in the new year to resolve the practical issues of peace and prosperity and the denuclearization issue."

"If we meet together with sincerity, there is nothing we cannot achieve," added Moon. "It took a long time to get here and much has changed in one year."

The South Korean President said he hoped to see Kim in the new year, and that his welcome to the country "remains unchanged."

Historic 2018 for Koreas

It marks the end of a historic year in North-South relations, with the leaders hugging each other on the tarmac of Pyongyang International Airport in their most recent meeting in September -- believed to be the first time Kim had greeted visitors at the airport since taking power in 2011.

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

Though fighting ended 65 years ago, the Korean War has never been formally ended with a peace treaty.

While a formal peace regime officially ending the Korean War would need buy in from the US and China -- the other participants in the conflict -- experts agree that there is nothing to stop the two Koreas declaring an end to the war themselves, or signing a bilateral peace treaty.

The meetings followed a rollercoaster few years of relations between US President Donald Trump and Kim -- nosediving with Trump's famous "Rocket man" speech at the United Nations General Assembly in 2017, and peaking with their highly anticipated summit in Singapore earlier this year.

It was the first-ever summit between the sitting leaders of the two countries. Trump hailed the new friendship and a document signed by both parties reaffirming Kim's "unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization."

As 2018 draws to a close, Kim has again vowed to resolve the denuclearization issue in his letter to Moon -- but visible steps showing North Korea has indeed stopped developing its nuclear arsenal remain to be seen.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 3967

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah105258
Marion91425
Washington69817
Clackamas29610
Deschutes1200
Linn1159
Umatilla1123
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill667
Jackson600
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine251
Douglas250
Jefferson240
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Crook60
Curry60
Union60
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00
Eugene
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 78°
Corvallis
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 79°
Roseburg
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 82°
North Bend
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 65°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events