South Korean President Moon Jae-in has officially been invited to travel to North Korea. Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of Kim Jong Un, presented President Moon with the formal invitation.
This will be the first time that a South Korean president has set foot in North Korea since 2007.
According to CNN a presidential spokesperson confirmed that President Moon has plans to meet with Kim Yo Jong and three other high-level delegates from North Korea on the sidelines of the Winter Olympics.
While this does seem like a good step forward in the foreign diplomacy and relations between North and South Korea, there is worry as to what effect this meeting could have on the rest of global politics.
“This is the strongest action yet by North Korea to drive a wedge between the South and the United States,” Kim Sung-han, a former South Korean vice foreign minister, said.
The United States government has so far advocated the use of force when discussing how to best deal with North Korea. The South Korean government has emphasized the importance of opening and maintaining a political dialogue.
Last week in Tokyo, Japan, United States Vice President Mike Pence made a statement saying the United States government will be unveiling “the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever.”
The idea of holding talks with North Korea is nothing new to the United States government. Both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Donald J. Trump have raised the suggestion before.
These ideas seemed to have possibly been discussed as recently as this past week. In an interview with The Washington Post, Vice President Pence said he conferred with President Trump every day he was in Asia.
In that same interview Pence said based on the assurance from President Moon that he will tell the North Koreans that they will “not get any economic or diplomatic benefits for just talking.”
President Moon told Pence when he spoke with the North Koreans he would say they have to talk to the Americans. Vice President Pence feels confident he can endorse the post-Olympic engagement.
Carlee Jo Blumenthal
Photo Courtesy of Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images