Oct. 3 (UPI) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could still visit the South in November during the ASEAN-Korea Summit in Busan, Seoul officials say.
Tak Hyun-min, a presidential planning advisory committee member to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said this week the government is planning the ASEAN event “with the possibility that Chairman Kim will attend,” local news service EDaily reported Thursday.
Speculation has been rising that the North Korean leader could visit Busan in November following a statement from Seoul spy agency chief Suh Hoon in September. Suh had not ruled out a Kim visit during a parliamentary hearing.
The ASEAN-Korea Summit is to take place Nov. 25-26. In an interview with the Bangkok Post in August, Moon said Kim’s attendance would be a “meaningful opportunity for peace on the Korean Peninsula, and in East Asia.”
On Wednesday, Tak said if Kim does attend the ASEAN summit, there would be an opportunity for multilateral talks, in addition to an inter-Korea summit. Kim’s visit would also increase the possibility of a third U.S.-North Korea summit, an event that could be discussed at the scheduled working-level talks between Washington and Pyongyang this weekend.
Moon’s pro-engagement North Korea policy proceeds despite Pyongyang’s return to tests of weapons systems. On Wednesday, North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile from the coastal city of Wonsan, according to South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff.
South Korean conservatives have taken issue with Moon’s diplomatic overtures to the North at a time when Pyongyang has rebuffed inter-Korea dialogue.
Conservative protesters and members of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party are taking to the streets daily to voice their grievances.
Money Today reported an anti-Cho Kuk protest turned violent late Thursday when protesters who opposed the new justice minister clashed with police.
The protesters were trying to enter the grounds of the presidential Blue House and 46 people were arrested, according to the report.