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North Korean leader vows to visit Seoul: Cheong Wa Dae

North Korean leader vows to visit Seoul: Cheong Wa Dae

Kim's letter has renewed hopes for inter-Korean relations in 2019 - ending weeks of lackluster communication between the two Koreas as the North's denuclearization talks with the USA have gone off the boil.

In recent months, South Korean fan clubs of the leader have reportedly sprung up as the South anticipates frequent visits from as ties warm up between the two countries.

Details are still scant, but North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has reportedly sent a "conciliatory message" to President Trump on the subject of the nuclear talks.

In June, Kim vowed to work towards denuclearisation at his landmark summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore but the two sides have since made little progress, struggling to reschedule a high-level meeting abruptly called off in November.

North Korea has continued to develop its nuclear missiles, despite pledging to ditch the weapons programme earlier this year - it has been revealed. With global sanctions squeezing the country's trade flow and cash supply, any clues about the North Korean economy or Kim's growth strategies will be closely examined.




"[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".

Kim said in the letter that he was sorry his visit to Seoul did not take place, expressing his "strong resolve" to make it happen in the future while monitoring the situation, Moon's office said.

Kim's New Year address provides a rare public appearance for the young leader and is closely watched by neighbouring countries as it is seen setting the tone for his domestic and foreign policies. Kim had previously promised to be the first North Korean leader to travel to South Korea for a summit, according to Moon's office. The U.S. granted an exemption on sanctions against the North to give it access to materials needed for the projects.

Moon - a dovish former human rights lawyer - has advocated dialogue to push the impoverished but nuclear-armed North toward denuclearisation.

Kim had yet to confirm the timing of his unprecedented visit to Seoul, the South Korean capital, but the groups are already preparing for his arrival. The North sent a delegation, including Kim's sister Kim Yo-jong, to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics held in February.

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