North Korea says its leader has rejected an invitation to meet the South Korean president

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has rejected an invitation by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit the South next week, state media reported on Thursday, indicating the complex ties between the two countries.

From Monday, South Korea is expected to host a summit with Southeast Asian leaders in the southeastern port city of Busan. Moon had hoped Kim would attend.

The North Korean leader received a personal message from the South Korean president on November 5, but has recently declined the invitation, according to the official North Korean news agency.

The agency accused the South of failing to respect inter-Korean agreements and of damaging bilateral relations by relying too heavily on the United States.

“How to sit face-to-face and solve problems with a partner of this kind who refers everything to a third-party sponsor, without having neither independence nor an independent vision,” the agency wrote.

Given the failure of previous summits, a meeting between the south and the north “only in form will not work,” the agency said.

Moon Jae-in has long advocated rapprochement with Pyongyang. The North Korean leader met three times last year and helped organize the first historic summit between Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore in 2018.

But relations between the two Koreas froze after the failure of the second summit between Kim and Trump in February in Hanoi.

In recent months, Pyongyang has accused Seoul of continuing its joint military activities with the United States and suspended almost all inter-Korean coordination projects.

Talks between the United States and North Korea on North Korea’s nuclear arsenal have stalled.

Pyongyang has given Washington until the end of this year to make a new offer and has repeatedly threatened in recent weeks that it will withdraw completely from the talks.

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