Kim Jong-un ‘wants closer North-South Korea ties’

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said he wants to “vigorously advance” closer ties with South Korea, according to state media.

The report follows a rare visit to Pyongyang by senior South Korean officials, who had dinner with the normally reclusive leader.

They are the first officials from Seoul to meet Mr Kim since he came to power.

The trip was part of a wave of rapprochement moves surrounding the Winter Olympics.

South Korea commented only briefly on the meeting, saying the visit was “not disappointing” and the two sides had reached a “satisfactory agreement” on holding future talks. The special envoys returned to Seoul on Tuesday morning, Yonhap news agency said.

The delegation is expected to visit Washington later this week to brief US officials on their talks in the North.

The US has said it is “cautiously optimistic” about improving North-South contacts, but ruled out formal talks with Pyongyang unless it is ready to give up its nuclear weapons. Throughout the Olympics the US maintained that North Korean gestures of rapprochement would carry little weight without such a commitment.

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