Kim Jong Un attendance at U.N. cannot be ruled out, Seoul says

Sept. 16 (UPI) — South Korea’s top diplomat said Monday she cannot rule out Kim Jong Un‘s attendance at the general debate of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha also said the South Korean government did not hear directly from the Trump administration about a letter the White House reportedly received from Kim, South Korean news service Newsis reported Monday.

Kang said she could not confirm or deny Kim’s plans to make an unprecedented appearance at the United Nations, in response to a question from South Korean lawmaker Shim Jae-kwon of the ruling Democratic Party, according to Yonhap.

“It is difficult to completely rule out” Kim’s attendance, Kang said at the parliamentary hearing. “But we have also not picked up any signs” that he would attend.

Denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled since June. On Monday, Kang said Seoul is working with member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency to take “necessary joint measures.”

Concern may be growing among South Korean politicians Seoul and Washington are not communicating more transparently.

The Joongang Ilbo newspaper in South Korea reported the White House received a letter from Kim, inviting President Donald Trump to visit. Neither the White House nor the State Department had confirmed the letter Monday morning.

Kang said Monday Seoul has not received confirmation of the Kim letter from the United States, according to Newsis.

Talks of U.S.-North Korea dialogue is picking up following a statement from North Korea’s first vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui.

Choe had said last week the North is willing to meet with U.S. counterparts in late September.

The U.S. State Department has said U.S. special envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun is willing to meet with Choe or another North Korean official. They have not ruled out New York or a “quieter” third-party country for the discussions, according to South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo.

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