N Korea formally notified of Lee`s invitation for Kim

South Korea formally conveyed President Lee Myung-bak`s offer to invite North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to a major international security summit in Seoul next year.

Updated: May 18, 2011, 15:12 PM IST

Seoul: South Korea formally conveyed
President Lee Myung-bak`s offer to invite North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to a major international security summit in Seoul
next year during recent contact with Pyongyang, an official said on Wednesday.

Lee unveiled the proposal during a visit to Berlin
last week, saying he would invite Kim to next year`s Nuclear
Security Summit of about 50 world leaders if Pyongyang firmly
commits to nuclear disarmament and apologises for last year`s
two deadly attacks on the South.

"The genuine intention of our government has been
delivered to the North," a government official said adding
that there was person-to-person contact with the North after
Lee made the proposal.

The official declined to give more details, such as
who was involved and where the sides met.

"We hope there will be more specific discussions
between the South and the North if there is an opportunity in
the future," the official said.

The North`s initial reaction to the proposal was
negative.

A couple of days after Lee announced the proposal,
Pyongyang`s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the
Fatherland, a propaganda outlet, denounced it as "ridiculous"
and an attempt to disarm and invade the communist nation with
the United States.

But South Korean officials said they do not consider
the reaction as an official response.

Analysts said chances of North Korea accepting the
offer are low, and the proposal appears to be aimed at
pressuring the North to make a strategic choice to give up its
nuclear ambitions and break the deadlock in inter-Korean
relations.

PTI