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View more articles by Dagyum Ji
Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday said he would “actively consider” inviting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the 2019 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-ROK summit, set to be hosted by the South next year.
Speaking at the 20th ASEAN-ROK Summit in Singapore, Indonesian President Joko Widodo proposed that Moon ask Kim to attend next year’s high-level “Commemorative Summit.”
In comments shared by South Korean presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-keum at a press briefing, Widodo said the presence of both Korean leaders would make the summit more meaningful.
Kim Eui-keum said the South Korean President provided an affirmative response in return.
“That is noteworthy suggestion. I will actively consider it,” Moon was quoted as having said by Kim.
“To this end, Seoul will closely cooperate with ASEAN countries before it takes place.”
July saw Indonesia officially invite Kim Jong Un to take part in the 2018 Asian Games opening ceremony, then set to take place the following month.
Indonesian minister Puan Maharani conveyed the official invitation in a meeting with President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly Kim Yong Nam in Pyongyang.
The North Korean leader, however, did not respond to the invitation.
President Moon on Wednesday proposed that a 2019 ASEAN-ROK summit take place in the South, to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of South Korea-ASEAN ties.
The ten ASEAN leaders then agreed to the proposal.
In opening remarks, Moon expressed his thanks towards the ASEAN for “actively supporting the government’s efforts for complete denuclearization and peace settlement,” the Blue House said in a separate written statement.
The South Korean presidential office said the ASEAN leaders “highly appreciated President Moon’s leading role.”
Tuesday saw South Korean presidential economic adviser Kim Hyun-chul stress the importance of the ASEAN member states in the denuclearization process due to their long history of diplomatic ties with Pyongyang.
Regional support for the peninsula peace process is “strong,” he added.
Speaking at the press briefing, spokesperson Kim Eui-keum on Wednesday announced that Moon and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will hold a meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN meeting tomorrow.
The two will hold a discussion on “measures for denuclearization and peace settlement on the Korean peninsula and the ROK-U.S. relations.”
Moon and Chinese President Xi Jinping are also scheduled to hold an one-on-one meeting on Saturday in Papua New Guinea during the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
“Both leaders will exchange opinions on mutual interests focusing on cooperation measures for denuclearization and peace settlement on the Korean peninsula,” Kim said.
The South Korean President also held a summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Wednesday afternoon.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: Blue House