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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

All Headlines 16:00 January 04, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

N. Korean leader sends letter to Moon: presidential office

SEOUL, Dec. 30 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday to call for continued efforts to build peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula next year, Seoul's presidential office said.

Kim also said that the leaders of the Koreas have taken practical measures this year, which have helped get over the long-running confrontation across their border, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters.

"Chairman Kim sent a personal letter to President Moon today," the official said. "Through the letter, he delivered a warm year-end greeting wrapping up the year 2018 and an intention to move together for the sake of peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula."

S. Korean president expresses thanks for N. Korean leader's letter: presidential office

SEOUL, Dec. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday expressed gratitude to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for sending a letter to call for continued efforts to build peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.

Moon said South Korea "remains unchanged in welcoming" Kim's possible trip to Seoul and said he is very glad that Kim renewed his commitment to make joint efforts toward denuclearization.

"Even though there will be a lot of difficulties going forward, our hearts will be opened to each other depending on how much effort we make," Moon wrote in a Facebook message.

Moon says N. Korean leader's letter has 'positive' message on denuclearization, inter-Korean relations: source

SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Monday that North Korea leader Kim Jong-un's personal letter sent to him Sunday contains a "positive" message that could give hints as to what direction North Korea could be headed in denuclearization and inter-Korean relations, a source said.

Cheong Wa Dae announced on Sunday that Kim expressed in the letter an intent to work together with South Korea on the issue of denuclearization, cooperate for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, and honor his promise to make a trip to South Korea.

"It has a positive message through which North Korea's directions and intentions on inter-Korean relations and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as well as Chairman Kim Jong-un's trip could be read," a source quoted Moon as saying during a meeting with ruling party leaders.

Cheong Wa Dae hails NK leader's address

SEOUL, Jan. 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's presidential office welcomed the New Year's Day address by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying it reflects his wish for the development of inter-Korean ties and Pyongyang-Washington relations.

"Chairman Kim's firm commitment is expected to have a positive effect on resolving the Korean Peninsula issue smoothly in the new year," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

In the half-hour long televised speech, the North's leader expressed his willingness to meet again with U.S. President Donald Trump for denuclearization talks.

N.K. newspaper criticizes U.S. for hindering inter-Korean projects

SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's main newspaper lashed out at the United States on Thursday for hampering inter-Korean relations, expressing frustrations over the limited progress in cross-border economic projects amid international sanctions.

Referring to the recent groundbreaking ceremony held in the North for a cross-border railway and road project, the Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary that the Koreas' failure to actually break the ground was a "tragedy coerced by external forces."

Last week, South and North Korea held a ceremony for the project to modernize and reconnect railways and roads across their border. But the event was a symbolic launch of the project, not an actual start of construction, due to existing multilayered sanctions on North Korea.

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