Indonesian authorities have invited North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games, which will run from August 18 until September 2 in Jakarta and Palembang.
An Indonesian delegation led by Coordinating Human Development and Cultural Affairs Minister Puan Maharani delivered a personal invitation to Kim during their visit to North Korea this week.
The group held talks with Kim Yong-nam, the nominal head of state and president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly.
“The main reason for us coming [to Pyongyang] is to convey an official invitation to the president of North Korea to attend the Asian Games Opening Ceremony on August 18,” Maharani said, according to Reuters.
During the meeting, Maharani invited a joint North and South Korean team to take part in the Asian Games, as part of efforts to improve relations between the countries and strengthen reconciliation progress on the Korean Peninsula.
A similar invitation was sent last week to South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, who said he would “consider attending” the ceremony in Jakarta.
President Moon “will consider attending, with circumstances such as future schedule in mind,” said South Korean presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.
In February, a joint Korean team marched together under a unified Korean flag at the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, marking a thaw in strained relations between the countries after decades of mutual hostility.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach hailed North Korea’s efforts to ease tensions in the region, calling their decision to take part in the Games “a powerful message of peace” to the world.