North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told a team of South Korean special envoys in Pyongyang for talks on Wednesday that he was still committed to denuclearization, state outlet Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Thursday.
Kim said it is his “personal will to completely remove the danger of armed conflict and horror of war from the Korean peninsula and turn it into the cradle of peace without nuclear weapons and free from nuclear threat,” according to the KCNA article.
But he also “repeated his vow of determination to denuclearize and said that the north and the south should further their efforts to realize the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” according to a Korean language version of the report.
Notably, the English language version left out the part of the sentence which said Kim “repeated his vow of determination to denuclearize.”
The report mentioned that the delegation, which was led by head of the presidential National Security Office (NSO) Chung Eui-yong, delivered a letter to Kim from South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Kim, after reading it, “expressed his thanks to the President for sending the good personal letter which expressed a firm will to wisely overcome many challenges in the future, too, and open a bright future of our nation while appreciating the fresh advance in the relations between the north and the south.”
Kim Jong Un and President Moon are set to meet in Pyongyang later this month for their third summit this year – their first the landmark April 27 Panmunjom meeting on the South side, and their second a secret meeting on the North side of the Joint Security Area (JSA) a month later.
The KCNA report did not include the date of the planned summit, which was announced Thursday morning by the Blue House to be a three-day affair from September 18-20 in the North Korean capital.
Instead, the report said Kim “exchanged wide-ranging opinions with the special envoy delegation over the schedule for the Pyongyang summit meeting due in September and its topics, and came to a satisfactory agreement with it.”
The DPRK leader alluded numerous times in the KCNA report to hope for further enhancing inter-Korean projects, highlighting the achievements he sees the two having accomplished so far this year.
Listing these, Kim said “the reunions of separated families and relatives were realized and north-south military talks and the work of setting up a joint liaison office progressed well after the historic Panmunjom meeting.”
Kim also praised Moon personally, saying he “highly appreciates and always feels grateful to President Moon Jae In for his sincerity and hard-work for the DPRK-U.S. summit, the first of its kind in history.”
The North Korean account of Wednesday’s meeting in Pyongyang said the South’s delegation met with Kim at the WPK Central Committee headquarters.
Kim Yong Chol, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee, was also present alongside Kim Jong Un, and met with the ROK envoys earlier in the day together with chairman of the DPRK’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country (CPRC) Ri Son Gwon.
Chung and the other South Korean envoys returned to Seoul directly aboard a government jet late Wednesday evening following the day of talks in Pyongyang.
Featured image: KCNA
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