SEOUL, South Korea – Day after day, speculation about the possible trip of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Seoul is headline news in South Korea, despite the lack of official confirmation from one or the other government.
Many analysts believe that it would be extremely difficult for Kim to hold by the end of the year his promise to become the first North Korean leader to visit South Korea, given the limited time it has to prepare for and stalemate in global diplomacy over its nuclear weapons. But others say we will not know until the end of the year, noting that several unheard-of events have occurred in recent months, including Kim's summit with President Donald Trump in Singapore in June. .
Preview of the possible trip from Kim to Seoul:
At the end of the year, South Korean media, experts and politicians prepare reports and wonder if Kim will visit Seoul by the end of December, or postpone or even reinforce his plan.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in seems to be pushing Kim to keep his promise, although he said there was no time limit for his visit. After a meeting with Trump last week on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina, Moon told reporters that the two men agreed that Kim's visit would play a "very positive role" in North American nuclear diplomacy. Korean. Moon suggested that Kim's trip to Seoul could take place before the resumption of high-level talks between the United States and North Korea, including a possible second Trump-Kim summit.
According to the South Korean press, Kim's trip to South Korea is likely to take place from 18 to 20 December. These dates are based on the belief that the two Koreas would need more than a week of preparation and would allow Kim to stay home for a commemorative ceremony on December 17 in honor of her late dictator father. , Kim Jong Il. In addition, Kim would be busy at the end of December preparing her annual New Year's speech to outline her political orientations for 2019.
The Blue House, president of South Korea, however, denied this delay.
The Blue House reiterated Wednesday that Kim's trip could take place this month or early next year, saying it's North Korea.
The ball is in Kim's camp, but his propaganda services are silent about a trip to Seoul.
Kim could find such a trip less beneficial now than when he had subscribed after his third summit with Moon in Pyongyang in September. At the time, some experts had said that the United States could soon accept a request from North Korea jointly declaring the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War as part of security guarantees to the North, so that Kim finds less compelling to make a symbol, emotionally charged trip to Seoul after receiving this political concession.
But North Korea and the United States Diplomacy is paralyzed since the disagreement following a US request that North Korea first disclose a complete inventory of its nuclear weapons and take other important denuclearization steps before to obtain major external awards. North Korea, for its part, now wants a lifting of sanctions, the declaration of end of war and other reciprocal measures of the United States, saying that it has taken certain measures, such as dismantling of his installation of nuclear tests and the release of American detainees.
Kim's high lieutenants could also persuade him not to go to Seoul, citing concerns about the security arrangements for their "supreme leader" to surrender to an enemy state.
It is almost certain that Kim's visit will trigger huge daily demonstrations in Seoul by militants, conservative politicians and North Korean defectors. The main South Korean conservative opposition says that Kim must first apologize for the 2010 northern attacks, which killed 50 South Koreans before entering South Korea.
WHY IS A KIM TRIP IMPORTANT?
No North Korean leader has been to South Korea since the end of the Korean War, which killed millions of people. There were five summit talks between the leaders of Korea, including three between Kim and Moon, but they all took place in Pyongyang or Panmunjom village, the border between Korea and Korea.
When Kim's influential sister, Kim Yo Jong, and favorite pop diva, Hyon Song Wol, arrived in South Korea earlier this year at the start of her tour in the South, their travels sparked a media frenzy here. . every movement. A trip from Kim to Seoul would surely attract even more global attention.
Seoul is the bustling capital of a country that Kim promised until last year to destroy with his nuclear weapons and that his father and grandfather dictator wanted to unify with the North. Moon would probably hold many emotional events, such as the joint visit of South Korea's highest peak, Mount Halla, as they did for the sacred Mount Paektu in the north at the Pyongyang summit. Kim could also address the South Korean parliament after Moon addressed a 150,000-seat Pyongyang stadium at the September summit.
According to Moon, Kim's trip would be "unprecedented" and contain a message of his commitment to nuclear disarmament, improving inter-Korean relations and peace in the world.
But again, it seems to belong to Kim, whose joint statement with Moon in September simply stated that her visit to Seoul would be "in the near future". Moon then clarified that it meant "in the year".
Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, promised to visit South Korea at a "convenient time" after his 2000 summit with South Korean President Kim Dae-jung. But he did not keep his promise until his death in late 2011, handing over power to Kim Jong Un, his youngest son.
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