South Korean President Moon Jae-in exchanged letters exploring the prospect of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ahead of his own meeting with US President Joe Biden in May, the South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported on Friday.
Moon hopes to use the meeting with Biden as an opportunity to revive delayed talks with Kim and urge Washington to address the issue more urgently.
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He sent a letter to Kim to explore ways to hold a summit, including online, if possible, as he had publicly suggested in January, in the run-up to the Koran pandemic, the newspaper reported, citing an unnamed diplomatic source.
However, he did not say how Kim responded.
Moon’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“My understanding is that the two leaders exchanged letters on the South Korea-US summit,” the source said. “I have heard that through letters the two leaders discussed how to hold a summit, such as a videoconference.”
Moon and Biden have expressed their willingness to work with North Korea since the May meeting.
However, Biden showed no intention of easing sanctions, according to Pyongyang. He said he had no “illusions” about the difficulty of getting Kim to give up nuclear weapons.
Nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States have stalled since Kim’s failed second summit in 2019 with Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump. This led to the drawing of Korean ties, as Moon had offered to act as a mediator.
North Korea has repeatedly criticized and ridiculed Moon and his government, and last year blew up a cross-border liaison office built on its territory.