North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for continued reconciliatory efforts with South Korea as he received a report from his high-level delegation about their trip to the South, the North’s state-run news agency said Tuesday.
“It is important to continue making good results by further livening up the warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue created by the strong desire and common will of the North and the South with the Winter Olympics as a momentum,” Kim was quoted in English by the Korean Central News Agency as saying in a meeting with the delegation Monday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Yonhap)
The delegation led by Kim Yong-nam, chairman of the Presidium of the North Korean assembly, reported details of their three-day trip to attend the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and meet with the South’s top officials.
During the visit last week, Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong delivered to President Moon Jae-in her brother’s letter and invitation to Pyongyang.
Kim Yo-jong made a detailed report about her meetings with Moon and other top South Korean officials, her observation of Seoul’s intentions and movements of the US, the KCNA said. US Vice President Mike Pence was also in South Korea last week.
After receiving the delegation’s report, Kim Jong-un expressed satisfaction and thanked the South for their efforts to prioritize the North Korean delegation’s visit which were “very impressive,” according to the news agency.
Kim also “set forth in detail the orientation of the improvement of the North-South relations and gave important instructions to the relevant field to take practical measures for it,” the KCNA said.
The Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper published by the North Korean Workers’ Party, carried the news of Kim’s meeting with the delegation as its top story with a photo of them together.
Separately, North Korea slammed US President Donald Trump for inviting a defector to the State of the Union address and US Vice President Mike Pence for bringing the father of Otto Warmbier to the Olympics.
North Korea’s United Nations Mission said in a statement Monday that the acts show that the US is desperate, “horrified and confused by the strong measures of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to strengthen its nuclear forces.”
Calling both acts “desperate attempts” by the Trump’s administration to keep up “its ‘human rights’ racket” against the North, the mission said that rights issues were “non-existent” in the DPRK, and that the US was “the principal violator of human rights ever seen in human history.”
The DPRK Mission called defector Ji Seong-ho, whose story Trump told during his State of the Union address to highlight the brutality of the North Korean regime, “human scum.”
The mission also called on the UN Secretariat to organize an international forum of legal experts to clarify the legality of the UN Security Council’s sanctions which it said violate the North’s sovereignty and international law.
The North has made the request repeatedly, but it was rejected on grounds that the Security Council is authorized by the UN Charter to determine what constitutes a threat to international peace and security.
The North is also seeking ways to settle its unpaid dues to the UN, saying it is unable to transfer the money after its Foreign Trade Bank, which handles most foreign currency exchanges, was put on a sanctions blacklist in August.
North Korean Ambassador Ja Song-nam met with the UN head of management on Friday to discuss how to make the payment. Countries that fail to pay the dues for the two previous years or more lose their voting rights at the UN General Assembly.
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com