- Diplomatic sources cited by CNN said there is a “good chance” that Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, will invite the South Korean president Moon Jae-in to North Korea.
- The rumored proposal could be held “sometime this year,” according to the report, with some believing it could be on August 15, a national holiday for North and South Korea.
- If the invitation is accepted, it will be the highest-level of contact between the two countries in years.
Diplomatic sources cited by CNN on Thursday said there is a “good chance” that Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, will invite South Korean president Moon Jae-in to North Korea “sometime this year.”
A luncheon between the leaders is scheduled for Saturday and will be the highest-level of contact between the two countries since they cut diplomatic ties two years ago.
Sources told CNN correspondent Will Ripley that, although the proposal was not certain, Moon’s potential trip to the North could happen on August 15, South Korea’s Liberation Day. The holiday, which is observed by South and North Korea, celebrates the countries’ independence from Japan.
The presidential trip would be the first of its kind since President Roh Moo-hyun met with Kim Jong-il for the inter-Korean summit in 2007.
On Friday, Moon met with Vice President Mike Pence, who is scheduled to lead the US delegation for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The two leaders reaffirmed the alliance between the US and South Korea.
“Our resolve to stand with you is unshakable,” Pence said, according to CNN. “The United States of America will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder in our effort to bring maximum pressure to bear on North Korea until that time comes when they finally and permanently and irreversibly abandon their nuclear missile ambition.”
Pence also left open the possibility of meeting with North Korea’s delegation.
“We haven’t requested a meeting with North Korea, but if I have any contact with them – in any context – over the next two days, my message will be the same as it was here today: North Korea needs to once and for all abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions,” Pence said.
Yo Jung, who is part of an official delegation that includes the ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, is expected to arrive to South Korea ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.