The comments by Kim were captured on video after his meeting with Trump on Sunday in Panmunjom.
|President Moon Jae-in, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at Panmunjom on Sunday. Yonhap|
In the video, Kim is heard saying to President Moon Jae-in that the North “referred to the precedent of meeting with the South without being constrained by formalities and location.”
Moon was at the time walking with Kim and Trump after the two leaders’ closed-door meeting, which lasted for nearly an hour.
Kim is believed to have been referring to his second meeting with Moon, which took place May 26, 2018, about a month after the first summit between Moon and Kim.
Unlike the much publicized first summit, the second summit was announced only after it had taken place. According to Cheong Wa Dae, the meeting was arranged at Kim’s request.
Although the North Korean leader’s comments hinted at his openness to arranging meetings on short notice, Pyongyang has not been responsive to the South’s calls for another summit.
Following his trip to Washington in April, Moon called for the fourth inter-Korean summit, and repeated the call in June during his trip to northern Europe. On the European tour, Moon suggested that the inter-Korean summit should be held before he met Trump. Moon and Trump held a summit on Sunday in Seoul. The North did not respond on both occasions.
According to a Cheong Wa Dae official, Kim on Sunday conveyed his thanks to Moon and shared “important” information before the meeting with Trump.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said Moon’s conversation with Kim before the meeting “included much more important matters” than just the expression of thanks. The official, however, did not disclose information regarding the content of the short conversation.
The official also revealed that Trump asked Moon about crossing the Military Demarcation Line as they waited for Kim to arrive. According to the official, Trump asked if he could cross into North Korea, and Moon answered that it would be fine to do so after greeting Kim.
In a video released by the White House, Trump is heard asking Kim, “Would you like me to step across?” before stepping over the MDL and becoming the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)