SEOUL, Sept. 26 (Korea Bizwire) – About 70 percent of South Koreans think that a trip to the South by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a summit with Southeast Asian leaders would have a positive impact on denuclearization talks and inter-Korean relations, a survey showed Thursday.
On Tuesday, the country’s spy agency raised the possibility that Kim could visit the southern port city of Busan for the special summit that South Korea is to host in November for the leaders of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
According to the survey of around 1,000 adults by the National Unification Advisory Council, 69.7 percent of those polled said that Kim’s trip could have positive impact on denuclearization talks and inter-Korean relations, with 22.8 percent of them saying that the impact could be huge.
Of those surveyed, 23.3 percent said that such a trip would have a negative impact. The poll did not provide reasons for these expectations.
A trip by Kim to Busan, if realized, would be the first-ever visit to the South by a North Korean leader since the 1950-53 Korean War — with the exception of his brief foray into the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone bisecting the two Koreas for his first summit with President Moon Jae-in in April last year.
Experts say that chances are quite low that Kim will actually make a trip to the South for the ASEAN summit considering the lack of time for preparations and the currently stalled inter-Korean relations.
The suggestion of a trip comes amid expectations that North Korea and the United States will resume working-level denuclearization meetings in the coming weeks after a hiatus of several months.
A venue and date for the resumption have yet to be disclosed.
The poll showed that 50.6 percent cited “genuine denuclearization steps” by the North as the most necessary factor that will lead to the resumption of talks, while 19.2 percent said the U.S. should take a “flexible attitude” to make them happen.