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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

South Korea responds quickly to Kim Jong Un’s positive remarks

All dailies highlighted President Moon’s remarks on Tuesday welcoming Kim Jong Un’s recent overtures, noting that Seoul on the same day proposed holding a meeting by senior officials of North and South Korea at Panmunjom on Jan. 9 to discuss North Korea’s participation in the upcoming Olympic Games. Yomiuri said the offer constituted an “immediate response” from the Moon administration to Kim’s overtures that were apparently intended to widen the schism between Washington and Seoul. Although South Korean officials stressed that Seoul closely consulted with the U.S. and other partners regarding the proposal, the dailies projected that the Kim regime may ask Seoul to cancel the planned annual U.S.-ROK exercise that is customarily held in February in return for its athletes’ attendance at the Olympics. Asahi voiced concern that Seoul might abandon the trilateral partnership with Tokyo and Washington in response to the DPRK overtures. The paper pointed out that President Moon’s negative assessment of the 2015 comfort women pact has already strained ties with Japan and that the Trump administration is not necessarily pleased with South Korea’s eagerness to improve ties with China.

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