Kim Jong-un likely to visit Seoul Dec. 18-23

Dec 06, 2018, 09:01 am

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It is highly likely that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will visit Seoul between Dec. 18 and 23.

By AsiaToday reporters Lee Seok-jong

It is highly likely that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will visit Seoul between Dec. 18 and 23.

“Although the government has not fixed dates for Kim’s visit, I heard that the South pitched the idea of Kim’s Seoul visit within the year to the North,” government officials said. “If Kim visit Seoul, the most realistic date would be between Dec. 18 and 23.”

While speaking at a forum arranged by the South Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation in Seoul on Wednesday, Vice Minister Chun Hae-sung said, “Although not much time is left before the year passes, it does not mean Kim’s visit is impossible.” Chun revealed that it is still possible for Chairman Kim to visit South Korea within this year although not much time is left. “I think it is possible because the willingness of the leaders of Koreas are firm.”

“I heard that the two Koreas have fixed Kim’s visit to Seoul, but they are postponing the announcement due to the North’s request,” a government official said. “If Kim visits Seoul, there is no suitable time except between Dec. 18 to 23.”

There are even reports that the COEX Convention Center is Samseong-dong, Seoul, is one of the candidates for the main press center (MPC), which will broadcast the news about the possible inter-Korean summit to the world.

“Kim’s Seoul visit will boost his credibility in the international community, and will also contribute to the success of the upcoming Pyongyang-Washington summit,” said Cheong Seong-chang, head of research planning division at the Sejong Institute in Seoul. “It will be a symbolic event in which the two Koreas play a leading role in the Korean Peninsula issue.”

Regarding the date of Kim’s possible visit, a government source said, “It will not be easy for Kim to brighten up the mood by visiting Seoul on December 17 and change the mood immediately to commemorate the 7th death anniversary of his father Kim Jong-il. It is appropriate to finish the event and make a visit to Seoul after Dec. 18.”

“The government is keep saying that Kim will visit Seoul. We should say that it’s based upon the premise that the visit has come to the agreement with North Korea,” the source said. 

Another government source said, “I heard that the South is preparing for Kim’s visit between Dec. 18 and 20. Although we need to wait for the North’s response, Kim’s visit is impossible other than between Dec. 18 and 20.”

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