‘Kim Jong-un to visit S Korea in December’

Seoul: A South Korean businessman has said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is planning to visit Seoul in December this year.

Sohn Kyung-shik, who is the chief of South Korean conglomerate CJ Group, was part of the delegation that accompanied President Moon Jae-in during his visit to North Korea for the meeting with Kim earlier this week.

Yonhap News Agency quoted Sohn as saying, “Chairman Kim Jong-un said he will come to Seoul in December.” He, however, added that the exact date has not been finalised, and it would depend on the timing of South Korean government’s invitation.

Quizzed on his prospects for inter-Korean economic initiatives, Sohn underlined that such a development “will go along with developments of (nuclear) negotiations and the railway project would come first.”

Addressing a press conference with President Moon after the summit, Kim said that he would visit Seoul in the “near future.” However, the South Korean president, later clarified that Kim’s remarks meant “this year”.

On September 18, President Moon visited in Pyongyang, which was the first trip by a South Korean head of state. The visit was largely aimed at brokering the stalled talks between North Korea and the United States over the former’s progress of denuclearisation and to discuss steps to further improve inter-Korean ties.

The two Koreas signed a joint military agreement and a joint statement to cease hostilities and working for peace on the peninsula. The two sides also agreed to take “additional steps” to achieve the process of denuclearisation.