North Korea’s Kim wants to ‘write a new history’ with South

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A dinner is prepared for members of the special delegation of South Korea's President in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 6, 2018. KCNA/via Reuters

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has expressed a desire to “write a new history of national reunification” during an unprecedented meeting with a delegation of high-ranking South Korean officials Monday in Pyongyang.

The meeting, which comes in response to North Korea sending its own delegation to the South during the Winter Olympics in last month, was attended by a 10-member delegation from South Korea, headed by national security chief Chung Eui-yong and intelligence chief Suh Hoon, and lasted for four hours.

On the North Korea side, Kim was joined by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, and his sister, Kim Yo Jong, who was part of the Winter Olympics delegation and became the first member of the Pyongyang’s ruling family to visit South Korea since the war in the 1950s.

The meeting marks the first time that the North Korean head of state has spoken in person with representatives from South Korea since he took power in 2011. It was also the first time that South Korean officials had entered the main building of the Korean Workers’ Party in the North Korean capital.

According to North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency, the authoritarian leader discussed with the visitors the plans of South Korean President Moon Jae In to hold a summit between the two nations.

“Hearing the intention of President Moon Jae-in for a summit from the special envoy of the south side, he exchanged views and made a satisfactory agreement,” said the agency without providing specific details.

The meeting also resulted in a step forward in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, which has been ramping up in recent years. According to South Korean officials, Kim Jong Un promised to never use his country’s nuclear armaments if he can be guaranteed security and if the United States were to stop making military threats against his nation.