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Rare letter!

Rare letter!

2019 has started with hopes of peace being raised. Indeed, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has sent a rare, personal letter to his South Korean counterpart, President Moon Jae-in, expressing his willingness to meet soon and discuss denuclearisation on the divided peninsula. Wrapping up the year in which the two leaders met thrice, Kim shared his wish to go together towards peace and prosperity. Kim added that he was sorry his plan to visit Seoul late in 2018, in what was to be their fourth meeting of the year, did not take place as was agreed. But he expressed a strong will to visit the South Korean capital in the future. In response, Moon has said on his social media account that he was "very glad" to see Kim's "willingness to meet often in the new year to resolve the practical issues of peace and prosperity and the denuclearisation issue". "If we meet together with sincerity, there is nothing we cannot achieve," said Moon. Adding, "It took a long time to get here and much has changed in one year." The South Korean President said he hoped to see Kim in the new year and that his welcome to the country "remains unchanged." It marks the end of a historic year in North-South relations, with the leaders hugging each other on the tarmac of Pyongyang International Airport in their most recent meeting in September, believed to be the first time Kim had greeted visitors at the airport since taking power in 2011. It was also the first time since 2007 that a South Korean president had travelled North. Though fighting ended 65 years ago, the Korean War was never formally ended with a peace treaty. While a formal peace regime officially ending the Korean War would need to buy in from the US and China, the other participants in the conflict, experts agree that there is nothing to stop the two Koreas declaring an end to the war themselves or signing a bilateral peace treaty. The meetings followed a rollercoaster few years of relations between US President Donald Trump and Kim, nosediving with Trump's famous "Rocketman" speech at the United Nations General Assembly in 2017, and speaking with their highly anticipated summit in Singapore earlier this year. It was the first-ever summit between the sitting leaders of the two countries. Trump hailed the new friendship and a document signed by both parties reaffirming Kim's "unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation." As 2018 draws to a close, Kim has again vowed to resolve the denuclearisation issue in his letter to Moon, but visible steps showing North Korea has indeed stopped developing its nuclear arsenal remain to be seen.

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