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Spotlight: Int'l community expects inter-Korean detente to evolve into trilateral interaction
From:Xinhua  |  2018-03-04 17:16

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PYONGYANG, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The inter-Korean rapprochement remained unabated as South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday decided to send his special envoys to visit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) soon.

This followed the visits of two special delegations sent by DPRK top leader Kim Jong Un to South Korea last month, whose members included his sister, Kim Yo Jong.

The trip to Pyongyang by 10 South Korean envoys and officials, led by Chung Eui-yong, presidential security adviser and head of the National Security Office of the Blue House, will be the first high-level visit by South Korean officials to the DPRK for nearly a decade.

During their stay in Pyongyang, the South Korean delegation will hold dialogue with senior DPRK officials on furthering peace on the Korean Peninsula.

They will also discuss how to create conditions for dialogue between the DPRK and the Untied States, after the DPRK announced readiness to hold dialogue with Washington.


While the PyeongChang Winter Olympics had resulted in significant improvement of inter-Korean relations, it remains to be seen whether the momentum of the peace process can be maintained.

Both the DPRK and South Korea have shown great enthusiasm and sincerity in improving relations and attaining reconciliation in the past two months.

Many have expected that a "Korean Spring" will follow after the winter games.

DPRK official media have hailed it as "hard-won achievement" made by the two sides so far in creating a good atmosphere for improving bilateral ties, but warned against any move which could derail the process, such as a resumption of U.S.-South Korean joint military drills.


When its high-level delegations visited South Korea, the DPRK expressed intention to hold dialogue with the United States.

Pyongyang reaffirmed on Saturday that bilateral talks with Washington are possible and Pyongyang prioritizes diplomatic and peaceful means to solve the conflict with the United States rather than military confrontation.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK said the dialogue the DPRK wants is one "designed to discuss and resolve the issue of mutual concern on an equal footing between states."

The overture of talks by the DPRK is welcomed as a significant step forward as dialogue will dramatically change the situation on the peninsula and even regional geopolitics.


Up to now, the United States has insisted that it will keep watching if the DPRK has intention to abandon nuclear weapons and missiles.

But mixed message emerged during the Winter Olympics indicating that Washington did not rule out dialogue with the DPRK in the near future and was keeping diplomatic channels open.

U.S. media reported that the DPRK cancelled at the last minute a meeting with the U.S. side during the opening ceremony of the winter games on Feb. 9, since Pyongyang was angry about the U.S. decision to keep maximum pressure through sanctions on it.

The DPRK has not responded to the report, but has claimed that the United States has itself "knocked on the door" for dialogue.

After their visit to Pyongyang in the coming days, the South Korean envoys will also travel to the United States to brief American officials of the results of their Pyongyang trip.


Many members of the international community expect the DPRK and the United States to start dialogue as soon as possible amid a warmer atmosphere on the Korean peninsula.

At the Munich security conference last month, a senior Chinese official called on the United States to seize this peace-opportunity by opening diplomatic communications with the DPRK.

Fu Ying, a veteran Chinese diplomat and chairperson of the foreign affairs committee of the National People's Congress, said that the crux of the Korean Peninsula issue is security, which can only be tackled through talks by Washington and Pyongyang.

Whether the inter-Korean rapprochement could evolve into a trilateral interaction involving the United States is being closely watched.