Seoul, 21 November 2019 (dpa/MIA) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has rejected an invitation from South Korean President Moon Jae In to attend a special Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
Although North Korea was grateful for the invitation Moon sent in a personal letter on November 5, Kim said there was no “just cause” for going to the event in the South Korean city of Busan next week, state media reported on Thursday.
The government in Seoul has been accused of relying on the United States to solve inter-Korean problems and of failing to comply with Kim’s agreements with Moon at the three most recent summits they have had.
The ASEAN summit in South Korea takes place from Monday to Tuesday and marks the 30-year partnership between the two sides.
Seoul had also hoped to relaunch stalled inter-Korean relations should Kim join the meeting.
“It is our position that a summit between the leaders of the North and South would be nothing more than a formality at a time when none of the promises made at Panmunjom, Pyongyang and [Mount] Paektu have been realized,” state media KCNA said.
Moon and Kim met bilaterally twice in the Panmunjom border town last year and once in September in the North Korean capital. From Pyongyang they also made a trip to Paektu mountain.
Among other things, both sides declared that the frozen economic projects of both countries will be restarted if possible.
The implementation of the agreements has been hampered by the unresolved dispute over the North Korean nuclear weapons programme and the international sanctions against the Communist leadership in Pyongyang.