Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: In the latest Korean diplomatic effort, leaders of North and South exchange letters of hope amid tensions

The leaders of the rival Koreas exchanged letters expressing hope for improved bilateral relations, which plummeted in the past three years amid a freeze in nuclear negotiations and North Korea’s accelerating weapons development. North Korea’s state media said leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday received a personal letter from outgoing South Korean President Moon Jae-in and replied on Thursday with his own letter appreciating Moon’s peace efforts during his term. Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said Friday their exchange of letters showed their “deep trust.” (https://news.yahoo.com/leaders-rival-koreas-exchange-letters-232436676.html) Experts say North Korea’s announcement of the letters, which came as Kim possibly prepares for a nuclear test and other major provocations, is aimed at dividing public opinion in South Korea and discouraging Seoul’s new government from taking a hard line toward Pyongyang after its inauguration in May. KCNA said Moon told Kim he would continue to campaign for Korean reunification even after he leaves office next month, basing his efforts on their joint declarations for peace issued after their summit meetings in 2018.

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