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Kim: I'm willing to visit Cheong Wa Dae

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By Kim Rahn

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he was willing to visit Cheong Wa Dae anytime if President Moon Jae-in invites him, during their summit at the truce village of Panmunjeom, Friday.

He also proposed the two leaders meet more often.

When the two leaders inspected a South Korean traditional honor guard before starting the bilateral talks, Moon told Kim that the ceremony was scaled down because of the limited space in the truce village, chief presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan said in a media briefing after the first round of talks in the morning.

"Moon told Kim that if he came to Cheong Wa Dae, he could show him a much better ceremony. Then Kim said, ‘Is that so? I would come anytime if you invite me,'" according to Yoon.

As Kim had initially offered to have a summit in Pyongyang through his special envoy, he told Moon that he expected to meet Moon in Pyongyang but the meeting at Panmunjeom, which used to be a place of confrontation, seemed better.

"I saw the boundary stone marking the military demarcation line (which I crossed) was low. If many people cross it in future, one day it will disappear," Kim was quoted as saying.

Kim also expressed the hope that the Panmunjeom meeting will lead to more in Pyongyang, Seoul, Jeju and on Mount Baekdu.

"I suggest we meet more often. We need to make efforts so the situation will not go back to the starting point (before the current reconciliatory one)," Kim said.

He was aware of skepticism that the summit might not help resolve the North Korea nuclear issue, especially because the two Koreas' previous agreements had not been carried out.

"For 100 days, we have done what we had not been able to do for 11 years. If we go together, the situation will not get worse than now," Kim said.

After Moon said he would want to visit Mount Baekdu in the North, Kim said he was concerned because North Korea's transportation systems were not as good as South Korea's, adding his envoys praised the South Korean bullet train service. "We'll prepare, so you can feel comfortable if you come," Kim said.

Moon then answered, "If railroads are linked between the two Koreas, both the North and the South can use bullet trains."

Kim Rahn rahnita@koreatimes.co.kr


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