News World Kim Jong-un talks re-unification after South Korean meeting
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Kim Jong-un talks re-unification after South Korean meeting

North Korea leader Kim Jong-un
US officials say there has been a breakthrough in the nuclear stand-off with North Korea Photo: Getty
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says it is his “firm will to vigorously advance” and “write a new history of national reunification” while hosting a  delegation of high-ranking South Korean officials.

“Hearing the intention of President Moon Jae-in for a summit from the special envoy of the south side, he exchanged views and made a satisfactory agreement,” the North’s official news agency said of the meeting that took place on Monday, without detailing what that agreement was.

“He gave the important instruction to the relevant field to rapidly take practical steps for it,” the Korean Central News Agency said on Tuesday.

“He also made an exchange of in-depth views on the issues for easing the acute military tensions on the Korean Peninsula and activating the versatile dialogue, contact, cooperation and exchange.”

The 10-member South Korean delegation, led by National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong, joined Kim for dinner on Monday night.

The South Koreans are the most senior officials from the South to meet Kim since he took power in late 2011 following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il.

north korea hosts south korean delegation
The South Korean group is the first to meet Kim since he came to power. Photo: Getty

“We will deliver President Moon Jae-in’s wish to bring about denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and permanent peace by extending the goodwill and better inter-Korean relations created by the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics,” Mr Chung said in South Korea before the delegation’s departure.

The government hopes the visit will create “a positive atmosphere”, Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told a regular briefing.

Mr Chung and Mr Suh are due to fly to Washington later in the week to brief US officials on their discussions in the North.

Thawing relations between the Korean neighbours have prompted speculation about direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang after months of tension and exchanges of bellicose insults between US President Donald Trump and Kim fuelled fears of war.

The visit comes as the United States has said it would be willing to meet with North Korea, but insists that Pyongyang eventually abandon its nuclear weapons program as part of any talks.

in a statement Sunday, North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson accused the US of “taking preposterous action by continuing to trumpet an insistence that it will not have dialogue unless a right condition is met and that it will keep watching if we have intention to abandon nuclear weapons and missiles and so on.”

–with AAP