The office of President Moon Jae-in expressed regret Thursday that North Korea rejected an invitation for leader Kim Jong-un to visit South Korea for the upcoming summit with Southeast Asian nations, saying Moon wants a joint opportunity to drum up international support for the Korea peace process.
Cheong Wa Dae was responding to Pyongyang's statement hours earlier that Kim has decided to not to attend the Busan event scheduled for next week.
Moon sent a letter to Kim on Nov. 5 to thank him for his condolence message over the death of his mother, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson, Ko Min-jung.
Spokesperson Ko Min-jung (Yonhap)
In the letter, Moon said Kim's attendance of the South Korea-ASEAN special summit, set to kick off Monday, would help in spreading inter-Korean peace efforts.
Moon's view remains unchanged that the leaders of the two Koreas need to meet as often as possible and make joint efforts to garner global "understanding and support" for inter-Korean cooperation and the establishment of peace on the peninsula, Ko said.
Therefore, Moon hoped for such a "not-so-easy chance" to sit down with the leaders of the 10 ASEAN members states along with Kim, she added.
The North, however, said it would be "pointless" for Kim to visit Busan for the summit amid the lack of progress in implementing the agreements reached between him and Moon in past meetings. (Yonhap)