Indonesia's President Joko invites Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un for Asian Games: Report

If a meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in (centre left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is realised at the Asian Games, it will be the first inter-Korean summit to be held outside of the Korean peninsula.
If a meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in (centre left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is realised at the Asian Games, it will be the first inter-Korean summit to be held outside of the Korean peninsula.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL - Indonesia's President Joko Widodo has extended an invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to attend the Asian Games in August, a government official told South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo.

The sporting event will take place in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and the Sumatran city of Palembang from Aug 18 to Sept 2.

If the two Korean leaders do attend the Asian Games, they could meet for a third time after their two summits in April and May, said JoongAng Ilbo in its report on Wednesday (June 27).

A government official told the JoongAng Ilbo on Tuesday that President Joko met the two Koreas' ambassadors to Indonesia in his presidential palace on April 30, three days after Mr Moon and Mr Kim's first summit.

"As far as I understand it, President Joko invited President Moon and North Korean leader Kim to visit his country during the Asian Games at the meeting," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Kim Chang-beom represented South Korea at the meeting, and An Kwang-il represented the North.

Mr Moon is considering a trip to Indonesia for the Asian Games, according to officials with knowledge of the matter, reported JoongAng Ilbo.

Whether Mr Kim will attend remains unknown.

His decision could hinge on the pace of talks with the United States on its denuclearisation after he met US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12.

If a meeting between Mr Moon and Mr Kim is realised at the Asian Games, it will be the first inter-Korea summit to be held outside of the Korean peninsula.

There have been four such summits since the end of the Korean War.

The most recent two were held at the border village of Panmunjom while the first and second inter-Korea summits in 2000 and 2007 were held in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital.

The two Koreas agreed last week to have their athletes march together under the flag of the Korean Peninsula at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games as they did for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics held in the South in February.