No clear progress on Kim’s visit to S Korea

Seoul: South Korea’s presidential office has said that no signs of progress have been made as of now, amid rising speculation over North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s maiden visit to the country.

“No headway has been made so far, and there is nothing to announce,” Yoon Young-chan, top press secretary of the South Korean presidential office, was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying.

The comments came after a couple of media reports surfaced that Kim is likely to undertake a three-day visit to Seoul soon and South Korean officials are making secret preparations.

The South Korean presidential office, has, however, dismissed the reports saying they are keeping all options open and the North Korean leader is welcome to visit South Korea before the end of this year or early next year.

An official said that the North Korean government is yet to make an announcement on Kim’s visit, following which the South Korean side would start making preparations.

During his visit to Pyongyang for the inter-Korean summit in September, South Korean President Moon Jae-in had extended an invitation to Kim to pay a return visit to Seoul, in a push to further strengthen inter-Korean relations and achieve peace in the Korean Peninsula.

The North Korean leader, in turn, accepted the invitation and said that he would visit South Korea at the earliest date. If the visit does happen, this would be the first time that a North Korean leader would set foot in South Korea after the 1950-53 Korean War, which resulted in the division of the Koreas.