South Korea's Moon says Olympics may be chance for North Korea, US talks

Hyonhee Shin, Reuters

Posted at Mar 01 2021 11:41 AM

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk together at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool via Reuters/File

SEOUL - South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said on Monday that the Tokyo Olympics could provide a chance to reopen talks between North Korea and the United States, North Korea and Japan, and the two Koreas.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 102nd anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement Day in Seoul, Moon also said South Korea will work with Japan for the success of the Tokyo Olympics, which could help the two countries recover from the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Games scheduled for this year may serve as an opportunity for dialogue between South Korea and Japan, South and North Korea, North Korea and Japan, and North Korea and the United States," Moon said at a public park in Seoul where independence fighters declared the country's freedom in 1919 from Japanese colonial rule.

Moon's speech came as North Korea's relations with South Korea and Japan have soured after its denuclearization negotiations with the United States fell apart in 2019.

Seeking to take a page from its 2018 Winter Olympics, Seoul is pinning high hopes on the Tokyo Olympics to revitalize diplomacy with North Korea despite uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic and Pyongyang's cutoff of exchanges with the outside world.

"I hope that both Korea and Japan will be able to revive our economies, which were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and jointly create a new order in the post-COIVD-19 era." 

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