Kim Jong Un will not attend upcoming ASEAN summit, North Korean state media says

Baku, November 21, AZERTAC 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has formally rejected an invitation from South Korean President Moon Jae-in to attend an ASEAN event in Busan next week, the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Thursday, according to NK News.

In a commentary titled “There is a time and a place for everything,” the unsigned KCNA article said that Kim Jong Un appreciated a letter sent by Moon on November 5, but that his “reliance” upon the U.S. is an obstacle that cannot be overcome at present. The commentary started and ended with a diplomatic and friendly tone towards President Moon, but also harshly criticized him for maintaining the ROK-U.S. alliance to the detriment of inter-Korean relations.

“We thoroughly understand President Moon Jae-in’s anguish and anxiety to not miss this opportunity to create the right conditions to resolve the present North-South relations,” it said. But the commentary said that despite such sincerity, it is still “the undeniable reality of today” that Moon “cannot shed the position of reliance upon foreign powers to solve” issues between the two Koreas.

The ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit will be held from November 25-26 in South Korea’s second-largest city Busan, seeing heads of state and top officials join “to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea,” according to the event’s website.

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