North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un joked Friday that he wouldn’t fire anymore missiles – and thus not jar his Korean counterpart out of bed.
Seoul reported that Kim told South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a summit meeting that he “won’t interrupt your early morning sleep anymore,” referring to occasional, region-destabilizing missile tests conducted by Pyongyang.
Kim and Moon were meeting Friday in a border village in talks aimed at curtailing the North’s nuclear arms aspirations. The talks mark the first time a North Korean leader has stepped foot in the south since the Korean War.
Despite the awkward attempt at humor, Kim turned on the charm offensive Friday in hopes of being seen as a peacemaker – and not the iron-fisted dictator of 25 million starving citizens.
“I came to put an end to the history of confrontation and to resolve the issues that create problems in our relations together with the president,” said Kim, according to South Korean officials quoted by Yonhap News Agency. “I have come to have confidence that a good day will certainly come.”
The dictator’s traveling party included his influential younger sister Kim Yo Jong.
She gained international fame back in February, acting her brother’s rep at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
During Opening Ceremonies, she sat only feet away from Vice President Mike Pence. They appeared to ignore each other.
Kim also described his country’s transport conditions during the talks as poor as he and Moon discussed Moon’s potential visit to the North.
Moon’ spokesman Yoon Young-chan says Kim’s comments came after Moon expressed a desire to travel across North Korea to visit Mount Paektu that touches the country’s border with China.
According to Yoon, Kim in response said such a trip might be currently uncomfortable for Moon because the country’s transport system was deficient.
Yoon says Kim also said North Korean delegates who visited the South during February’s Winter Olympics also came back impressed with South Korea’s bullet train service.
Seoul also said the Korean leaders have “sincere and candid” talks on denuclearization, are working on wording of joint statement.
President Trump has said he plans to meet with Kim in coming weeks.
“We wish the Korean people well. We are hopeful that talks will achieve progress toward a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean Peninsula,” according to a White House statement on Thursday night.
“The United States appreciates the close coordination with our ally, the Republic of Korea, and looks forward to continuing robust discussions in preparation for the planned meeting between President Donald J. Trump and Kim Jong Un in coming weeks.”
With Post wires
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