North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his commitment to denuclearization in a letter sent to South Korean President Moon Jae-in over the weekend. The move raises hopes for a positive message in his annual New Year’s Day policy speech to be delivered on North Korea’s state television.
Interested in North Korea?Add North Korea as an interest to stay up to date on the latest North Korea news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
The two-page letter, stamped with Kim’s signature golden logo, arrived on Sunday addressed to “Revered President Moon Jae-in.” Only the first sentence was released to the public.
“Chairman Kim Jong Un emphasized the bold step the two Korean leaders have taken to overcome the long-pending confrontation between North and South to meet three times in one year alone,” read the letter, according to Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman for the South’s presidential office.
Moon posted a response on Facebook, saying he “welcome[s] chairman Kim's intentions” to hold further talks.
“[Chairman Kim] redefined his standpoint in actively carrying out agreements in the inter-Korean summit as well as the US-DPRK summit,” Moon wrote, continuing, “I welcome chairman Kim’s intentions to meet several times in the new year to find solution for denuclearization and to solve practical problems in achieving peace and prosperity.”
Moon added that he witnessed a sense of frustration over Kim not having been able to visit Seoul, which the two leaders agreed to during the third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang this September.
President Donald Trump has also expressed a willingness to meet for a second time with Kim in 2019. He also reiterated in mid-December that he wasn't concerned over criticism about the lack of progress in denuclearization since the two leaders met in Singapore and signed an agreement on June 12.
Many people have asked how we are doing in our negotiations with North Korea - I always reply by saying we are in no hurry, there is wonderful potential for great economic success for that country....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2018
....Kim Jong Un sees it better than anyone and will fully take advantage of it for his people. We are doing just fine!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2018
It was almost exactly one year ago, in the wake of Kim's 2018 policy speech, that Trump threatened the North Korean dictator and said his nuclear button was "much bigger and more powerful."
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018