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Inter-Korean summit possible at Korea-ASEAN summit: Former Moon aide

Preparations for the Korea-ASEAN Commemorative Summit are being made with the possibility of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s attendance in mind, a former aide to President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday.

Tak Hyun-min, a former official with the presidential protocol office who currently serves as an adviser for the planning of presidential events, said in a radio interview that Kim’s possible attendance is being factored into the preparations. 

Tak Hyun-min. Yonhap
Tak Hyun-min. Yonhap

Tak also said that if Kim attends the event set to take place in Busan on Nov. 25 and 26, an inter-Korean summit is likely to take place.

“I think an inter-Korean summit will take place (should Kim attend), also there could be ways to include (Kim) in the multilateral meeting,” Tak said, adding that he was preparing a number of key events for the Korea-ASEAN conference.

If realized, it will be Moon’s fourth meeting with Kim, and the first time a North Korean leader visits a South Korean city.

Tak went on to say that Kim’s attendance would require special measures and that he has heard talk of such a development as he prepares for the Korea-ASEAN event.

Inviting the North Korean leader to the Korea-ASEAN conference was first raised at the ASEAN+3 meeting in Singapore in November. Moon stated that Kim’s attendance would be a significant milestone for peace in Asia, in an interview with Bangkok Post in August.

Although South Korea’s National Intelligence Service raised the possibility of Kim attending the event, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon has since stated that the matter is not being discussed by the relevant government organizations.

Asked about his thoughts on Cho Kuk, Tak said in the interview that the justice minister’s responsibility is to see his task through to the end.

The recently appointed justice minister continues to draw criticism from the opposition parties. The prosecution is conducting a far-reaching investigation into alleged wrongdoings by Cho’s family and associates.

By Choi He-suk (