N Korea in­vites South for sum­mit in Py­ongyang

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - WORLD -

PYEONGCHANG: A rare in­vi­ta­tion to Py­ongyang for the South Korean pres­i­dent marked day two of the North Korean Kim dy­nasty’s south­ern road tour yes­ter­day.

It was part of an ac­cel­er­ated diplo­matic warm­ing that in­cluded more hand­shakes, some Korean liquor and the shared joy of watch­ing a “uni­fied” Korea team play hockey at the Olympics.

Noth­ing has been set­tled on any trip north by South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in. But the ver­bal mes­sage to come at a “con­ve­nient time” from dic­ta­tor Kim Jong-un, de­liv­ered by his vis­it­ing lit­tle sis­ter, Kim Yo Jong, is part of a sud­den rush of im­prov­ing feel­ings be­tween the ri­vals dur­ing the Pyeongchang Olympics. The re­sult: a heady, some­times sur­real, state of af­fairs in a South Korea that has seen far more threat than charm out of the North.

Still, it wouldn’t be South Korea if peo­ple weren’t ask­ing the ques­tion when it comes to North Korea chang­ing gears and showering its ri­val with ap­par­ent af­fec­tion: What’s in it for Py­ongyang?

There’s also cau­tious op­ti­mism. If peace isn’t im­mi­nent, a sum­mit be­tween Moon and Kim Jong-un seems bet­ter to most than the threats of re­cent months. Moon spokesper­son Kim Eui-kyeom said Moon told Kim Yo Jong the North and South should con­tinue to build con­di­tions for a sum­mit. – AP/African News Agency (ANA)

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