Seoul: The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in confirmed on Friday that he has exchanged letters with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in April in which they both agreed that significant results have been achieved in inter-Korean relations and their further development is possible.
This is Moon’s last exchange of personal letters with Kim before he leaves office on May 10 after a five-year term as South Korea’s president.
“President Moon Jae-in and Chairman Kim Jong-un recently exchanged personal letters, looking back on the past five years, and lauded the continued efforts to achieve peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula through mutual trust and dialogue, and sent warm greetings to all compatriots in the South and North Korea,” Moon’s spokesperson, Park Kyung-mee, said in a statement published on the president’s website.
The South Korean president also expressed regret that the inter-Korean dialogue failed to bring the results he had hoped for, noting that he was nevertheless optimistic about the future efforts of both countries in bringing peace to the peninsula.
The North Korean state news agency KCNA confirmed the exchange of letters on their side, adding that Moon sent his letter on Wednesday and Kim responded the next day.
The agency described the exchange of letters between the two Korean leaders as “an expression of their deep trust.” In his letter, Kim cited “the historic joint declarations giving hope for the future to the entire nation” signed by both leaders during Moon’s tenure and welcomed improving and continuing inter-Korean relations with the next South Korean president.
Tensions grew on the Korean Peninsula in recent months amid numerous tests of various weapons by North, including the launch of what Pyongyang said was a hypersonic ballistic missile. South, too, tested submarine-launched ballistic missiles and conducted joint military exercises with the United States.
Personal contact between the two Korean leaders was last reported in August 2021, when the South’s presidential office announced that the heads of both countries exchanged several letters since April of that year.