Rare exchange of letters between North and South Korea despite escalating tensions

According to official media, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un thanked outgoing South Korean President Moon Jae-in for his efforts to repair inter-Korean relations, in an unexpected move given hints Pyongyang is resuming nuclear testing.
Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency has stated Kim and Moon agreed that inter-Korean ties would develop if both sides “make tireless efforts with hope”. According to the KCNA report, Kim also stated his “historic” summits with Moon provided the people “hope for the future.”
Kim “appreciated the pains and effort taken by Moon Jae In for the great cause of the nation until the last days of his term of office”, the report said, adding the duo’s letter exchange was an “expression of their deep trust”.
Seoul’s presidential Blue House confirmed Moon and Kim had exchanged friendly letters, but details were not immediately available.
The letters are being sent during a difficult time on the Korean peninsula, as satellite footage reveals new excavation at the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, implying that Pyongyang is renewing nuclear testing after shutting it down in 2018.
North Korea also test-fired a new tactical guided weapon last weekend to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of founder Kim Il Sung and, in late March, broke a four-year moratorium on testing international ballistic missiles. Analysts say there could be more testing around April 25 when Pyongyang celebrates the founding of the Korean People’s Army.
Meanwhile, South Korea confirmed that the leaders had exchanged letters on Friday.

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