South Korea is working closely with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to persuade North Korea to participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics in the South's alpine county of PyeongChang, Cheong Wa Dae said Sunday.
"Though it's not that we're talking directly to North Korea, the IOC and other related agencies are making efforts for North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Olympics," senior presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan told reporters.
"We're also cooperating closely with the IOC," he said.
In last week's summit, President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping shared an understanding that the North's participation in the upcoming Winter Games will contribute to improving inter-Korean relations and reducing regional tensions, and agreed to work together on it.
Senior presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan speaks during a press briefing at Cheong Wa Dae on Dec. 17, 2017. (Yonhap)Senior presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan speaks during a press briefing at Cheong Wa Dae on Dec. 17, 2017. (Yonhap)
As to the possibility of a three-way summit between South Korea, China and Japan, Yoon said that the summit has been delayed due to China's circumstances, but Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expressed a positive attitude about the summit during his meeting with Moon.
"Should the Korea-China-Japan summit be delayed, I think we will look into the possibility of President Moon making a separate visit to Japan," he said.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha is scheduled to visit Tokyo on Tuesday and Wednesday for talks with her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono. It will mark the first visit by a Korean foreign minister to Japan since June 2015.
Kang and Kono are expected to discuss North Korea and pending bilateral issues. Moon's possible visit to Japan could also be discussed.