The leader of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), Kim Jong-un, called for North and South Korea to establish relations in order to create conditions for further unification. His words are quoted by the North Korean Agency of the Central Asian Railway. The statement says that the two countries should not constantly look back at their past. “Improving relations between the North and the South is a great opportunity to unite all the inhabitants of the Korean peninsula,” reads the text of the message.
It also emphasizes that at the moment it is necessary “to create an atmosphere for national reconciliation and unification.” In addition, the North Korean leader called for solving the crisis by joint efforts, but without the involvement of intermediaries.
Earlier, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that the country is going to send its national team to the Winter Olympics, which will be held in February in South Korean Pyeongchang. Also, Kim Jong-un emphasized the need to improve relations with South Korea. In turn, the official Seoul invited the DPRK to hold talks at a high level.
In his New Year’s televised address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that he was considering the possibility of the country’s participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korean Pyeongchang, Yonhap reported. According to Kim Jong Yin, North Korea’s participation in the Olympics will be a good event for the country. “We sincerely hope that the Winter Games will be a success. We are ready to take various steps, including sending the delegation,” said Kim Jong-un.
Note that at the Winter Olympics the North Korean team appears irregularly. From the last twelve Games, the DPRK participated only in seven. For its history, the country won 49 Olympic medals, with only 2 at the Winter Olympics.
In connection with such a statement by the leader of the DPRK, South Korean President Mun Zhe Ying urged to immediately begin negotiations on the participation of the North Korean national team in the Games. Negotiations on the participation of North Korea should be held on January 9 in the border village of Panmunjom. “The restoration of relations between North and South Korea cannot be considered separately from the solution of the issue of the North Korean nuclear program,” added Mun Zhe Ying. Recall that the UN Security Council on December 22, 2017, unanimously decided to tighten sanctions against North Korea because of its missile and nuclear tests. In particular, the volume of fuel supplied to it has been significantly reduced (from 2 million to 500,000 barrels). In addition, it is prohibited to import food and agricultural products, machinery, electrical appliances, earth, stone and wood to North Korea. Also, supplies of industrial equipment, vehicles, iron, steel and other metals are prohibited.
The DPRK, in turn, does not want to abolish missile and nuclear tests, explaining their need for self-defense. In mid-December, South Korea, Japan and the United States of America conducted joint exercises to track missiles launched from the territory of the DPRK.
DPRK is quietly preparing for a globally watched meeting with South Korea scheduled for upcoming Tuesday at the truce village of Panmunjom, which could mark a breakthrough of inter-Korean relations. While Pyongyang has been silent on its decision to send a five-member delegation to the meeting, it is widely expected that the meeting will be held as scheduled if no incident takes place at the last moment.
South Korea said the DPRK on Sunday sent the list of its five-member delegation to Seoul through the restored hotline in Panmunjom for the high-level inter-Korean talks. North Korea’s announcement of its willingness to revive an inter-Korean hotline was delivered by a man viewed as one of the regime’s key military negotiators – Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, according to South Korea’s unification ministry.
South Korea had earlier sent the list of its five-member delegation to the DPRK to be led by South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myung-gyon. The meeting will be held at the South Korean side’s Peace House, according to Seoul.