N.K. leader says inter-Korean ties can improve as much as one wants: Cheong Wa Dae

April 22, 2022

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in a recent letter to President Moon Jae-in that inter-Korean relations can improve as much as one wants if both sides make sincere efforts, Cheong Wa Dae said Friday.

Kim sent the letter Thursday in response to a farewell letter that Moon sent the previous day as he prepared to leave office after a five-year term that included three summit meetings with Kim and two summits between Kim and then U.S. President Donald Trump.

In the letter, Moon called on Kim to swiftly resume talks with the United States and make efforts for dialogue with South Korea’s incoming government of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, presidential spokesperson Park Kyung-mee told reporters.

“Holding the hands of Chairman Kim, I took one clear step that would change the fate of the Korean Peninsula,” Moon said in the letter, according to Park. “The era of confrontation should be overcome with dialogue.”

In the response letter, Kim said the two sides made “indelible achievements.”

“Though much is left desired, my belief remains unchanged that if the South and the North pour sincerity in based on efforts made so far, inter-Korean relations can move forward as much as one wants,” Kim was quoted as saying in the letter.

Kim thanked Moon for his peace efforts, saying he will continue to respect Moon after his retirement.

Moon and Kim had made strides in efforts to create lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, but those achievements fell apart after a second summit between Kim and Trump in Hanoi ended without an agreement on denuclearization.

The exchange of letters came amid heightened tensions over concern that the North could undertake yet another nuclear test after successfully test-firing a massive intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States.

Earlier in the day, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) revealed the exchange of letters, saying the two leaders shared the same view that inter-Korean relations would “improve and develop” if both sides make “tireless efforts with hope.”