South Korea invites North to commemorate first Moon-Kim summit anniversary

SEOUL, April 23 (NNN-Yonhap) — President Moon Jae-in will be confronted with a host of thorny tasks when he returns from a weeklong visit to Central Asia on Tuesday evening.

In foreign and security affairs, he is expected to push in earnest for the dispatch of a special envoy to North Korea in a bid to lay the groundwork for his fourth summit with leader Kim Jong-un.

His office, Cheong Wa Dae, confirmed that Moon has a message for Kim from U.S. President Donald Trump, although it gave no additional details. Moon had a White House summit with Trump earlier this month.

The South Korean president is striving to help revitalize the denuclearization and peace-building process that has been in the doldrums since the talks between Kim and Trump in Hanoi in late February broke up without a deal.

The Moon administration plans to hold a ceremony at Panmunjom this weekend to commemorate the first anniversary of the president’s historic summit with Kim, held at the DMZ village on April 27. It’s uncertain whether North Korean officials will participate in the event.

Moon’s national security team will closely monitor the North Korean leader’s trip to Russia this week, too.

South Korea President Moon Jae-in, left and First Lady Kim Jung-sook, right, leave for Central Asia on April 16, 2019. Photo courtesy of Yonhap