Kim Open to Face-to-Face Summit With S. Korea Leader

His new year's speech has a surprising overture
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2015 3:40 PM CST
Kim Open to Face-to-Face Summit With S. Korea Leader
A man in Seoul watches a TV news program showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's speech.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Months ago, North Korea unleashed a sexist diatribe against South Korea's female president that included calling her a "prostitute." Today, however, Kim Jong Un suggested the possibility of a face-to-face meeting between him and Park Geun-hye, reports Yonhap News. “Depending on the mood and circumstances to be created, we have no reason not to hold the highest-level talks,” said Kim in his new year's speech. He didn't spell out conditions, though he did say later in the speech that "North-South relations can't move forward" if Seoul continues military exercises with the US, reports the BBC.

Analysts aren't quite sure how serious Kim might be about improving relations, but a South Korean official welcomed the overture as "meaningful." The AP notes that this is Kim's first speech since the end of the formal three-year period of mourning for his father, which means he might be freer now to pursue his own policies. In the speech, Kim didn't address the flap over the Seth Rogen movie The Interview. (More North Korea stories.)

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