North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly said he is committed to denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
In a historic visit to meet President Xi Jinping in China, the Kim’s first overseas visit since assuming power in 2011, he confirmed denuclearization is a goal of his.
“The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved — if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill — create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace,” said Kim, according to China’s state-run outlet Xinhua.
Kim also said that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is developing rapidly and getting better, and that denuclearization was a wish of his father and grandfather.
“It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il,” he said.
This supports claims by South Korea’s envoy, who met with Kim in Pyongyang earlier this month.
“What drew our attention, in particular, is that he made clear that achieving denuclearization is his father’s dying wish and that it has not been changed at all,” a Blue House spokesman said, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.
But there was suspicion among experts that South Korea may have embellished Kim’s words, and that the North Korean was unlikely to be open to denuclearization or would have even used the word.
“South Korea has an innate interest to provide the most benevolent interpretation of what North Korea said,” Yun Sun, a North Korea expert at the Stimson Center, told Business Insider. “If North Korea comes out and corroborates, watch the language it uses and what it really means in terms of North Korea’s position.”
Well, according to China’s media reports, Kim used “denuclearization” at least twice, which should give hope to both the US and South Korea who are hoping to hold talks with Kim in the next two months.