Nov. 29 (UPI) -- South Korean civic groups say they want Kim Jong Un to feel at home during his pending visit to the South, and organizers say they are on a mission to change public opinion of the North Korean leader.
A total of 146 organizations have formed a "Seoul Citizen Welcome Committee" ahead of a possible Kim visit, Newsis reported Thursday. The South Korean government has plans to make the summit happen before the end of the year, but critics say it is unlikely, given the lack of progress on North Korea denuclearization.
Some of the groups have a history of advocating engagement with North Korea, including the South's Implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration Committee.
The civic coalition issued a joint declaration this week, stating Kim's visit to Seoul will "completely end 70 years of division and hostilities."
"Let us prove the city of Seoul, through the successful hosting of the Seoul Summit, is the world's city of peace and unity," the statement read.
Kim Sam-yeol of 8.15 Family, an organization that supports the remaining family members of anti-colonial fighters for independence, said he expects opposition.
"There are people who are opposed to [the Seoul Summit]," Kim said. "But we must persuade them to think otherwise."
Kim said he wants all Seoul residents to come out and welcome the North Korean leader.
The South Korean government has been pursuing other forms of engagement as nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang continue to be postponed.
CBS No Cut News reported Thursday South Korean railroad officials are expected to leave for the North on Friday.
They will conduct a survey of 1,600 miles of North Korean train tracks, according to the report.