SEOUL: South Korea’s presidential Blue House on Monday welcomed the New Year address by Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as Kim showed his willingness to discuss with Seoul about the DPRK’s possible participation in the South Korea-hosted winter Olympics.
Presidential spokesperson Park Soo-hyun told a press briefing that the Blue House welcomed Kim’s New Year speech in which Kim stressed the need to improve inter-Korean relations and expressed his willingness to send a delegation to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The spokesperson said that if the PyeongChang Olympics are held successfully, it will contribute to peace and harmony on the Korean Peninsula as well as in Northeast Asia and the world.
The Blue House, the spokesperson said, had agreed to talk with the DPRK, regardless of the timing, venue and dialogue form, if the issues are related to restoring inter-Korean relations and peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The spokesman said South Korea wished to find solutions with the DPRK on the inter-Korean issues while peacefully resolving the DPRK’s nuclear issue in close cooperation with the international community.
The comments came after Kim, the top DPRK leader, said in his New Year’s address earlier in the day that the DPRK will take necessary measures to prepare to participate in the winter sports event, including talks with South Korea about the DPRK’s participation.