South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday reiterated the country’s invitation for North Korea to the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics in Gangwon Province in the South.
“We will leave the door open until the very last minute,” said Moon as he urged for North Korea to reply to his invitation to take part in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics during a promotional event marking 200 days to the Olympic games that will be held in February next year.
“The International Olympic Committee also opened the door. It is up to North Korea,” said Moon.
Moon’s remark comes a month after he made a surprise proposal for the North Korean government to form an untied Korean team for the winter games, enter the game’s opening parade together and send its own cheering group as part of his initiatives to engage the secretive neighboring country. Pyeongyang has not returned its reply to Seoul’s request.
South Korea’s liberal new president Moon has been vowing to improve inter-Korean ties that have been frozen for almost a decade under the country’s former conservative governments through a dual track policy by supporting the U.S.-led sanctions against the Kim Jong-un regime for undeterred nuclear and ballistic missile tests and engaging talks.
The South’s new government has proposed a series of dialogues with the communist neighbor. But so far, North Korea has rejected its request for military talks. No response has been made to a proposal to hold a reunion of families separated since the Korean War, either.
Still Moon is persistent asking the neighboring militant regime to return to talks on hopes that peaceful engagement would ease the geographical tension on the Korean peninsula.
Citing the fact that Japan will host the 2020 Summer Olympics and China the 2022 Winter Olympics following the PyeongChang Winter Olympics next year, “I hope the Olympics will serve as a good opportunity to solidify the peace on the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia,” said Moon.
By Kang Gye-man
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]