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Kim Yo Jong: North Korea open to inter-Korea cooperation

By Elizabeth Shim
Kim Yo Jong: North Korea open to inter-Korea cooperation
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong (R) speaks with South Korean presidential national security director Chung Eui-yong (L) on Wednesday at the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea. Photo by Ministry of Unification/EPA-EFE

June 12 (UPI) -- Kim Yo Jong told South Korean officials North Korea is interested in continued inter-Korea cooperation as she delivered a letter of condolence from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at Panmunjom on Wednesday.

Kim Jong Un's sister, the first deputy head of the propaganda committee of the Korean Workers' Party, met with South Korea's national security adviser Chung Eui-yong, Newsis reported.

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The North Korean leadership is sending condolences following the death of former South Korean first lady Lee Hee-ho, the wife of former President Kim Dae-jung, the first South Korean leader to openly meet with Kim Jong Il in 2000.

Chung told local reporters after the meeting the North appreciates Lee, who "strove for cooperation and harmony among the Korean people."

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Chung also said Kim Yo Jong expressed wishes for continued cooperation between North and South.

The North Korean leadership did not have a separate message for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, however.

Moon is in Europe this week on a state visit. In Norway on Wednesday, Moon addressed North Korea relations at the Oslo Forum, according to Yonhap news agency.

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The South Korean president said he hopes to meet with Kim Jong Un before a potential third summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader.

"I think it's desirable [for me] to meet Chairman Kim Jong Un, if possible," before Trump's trip to South Korea in June, Moon said.

Money Today reported the presidential Blue House said the government was apprised of Kim's most recent letter to Trump, made public at the White House on Tuesday.

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Trump had said the letter was "very warm" and "beautiful," and that he has faith Kim Jong Un, the leader of a country with "tremendous potential," will follow through with denuclearization.

The condolence letter to Lee comes a day after Trump's response.

In his letter to Lee's family delivered Wednesday, the North Korean leader said he sends his sincere condolences for the first lady who "devoted her life to peaceful unification," according to Yonhap.

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