13:48 GMT +311 December 2018
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    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during a military parade marking the 105th birthday of Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea, in Pyongyang

    N Korea's Kim May Still Pay Return Visit to Seoul Until End of Year - Minister

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un can still take place before the end of this year as the meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in should not take long to prepare, South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said during his five-day visit to Washington.

    During the latest inter-Korean summit in September, Kim announced that he had agreed to visit Seoul "in the near future," while the South Korean president later said that the visit was expected to take place this year. In early November, the president confirmed that Kim would pay a return visit to Seoul soon.

    READ MORE: Pence: Next Trump-Kim Summit to Go Ahead Without List of N Korean Nuclear Sites

    "Not only is it possible within the year, it's necessary," Cho was quoted as saying by the Yonhap News Agency on Friday.

    According to Cho, most meetings between the heads of state usually require at least two months of preparations, but the inter-Korean summits were prepared within much shorter periods of time.

    "Past experience tells me that a visit before the year's end would be impossible. But the three previous (inter-Korean) summits have completely changed the situation. The leaders agree that they should keep preparations practical," the unification minister added.

    This year, Moon and Kim already held three summits — in April, May and September — that helped to ease tensions between the two Koreas. Kim's visit is set to become the first such visit of a North Korean leader to South Korea since the division.

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    visit, Kim Jong-un, South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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