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North, South Korea to hold summit on April 27

30 March, 2018, 00:11 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Trade Industry and Energy Minister Paik Un-gyu

However, it will be the first time a North Korean leader has stepped across the border, painted on the cement between Panmunjeom's iconic blue huts, and onto the South's soil.

The inter-Korean summit will be South Korean President Moon Jae-in's first face-to-face meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the third summit of its kind between two Korean leaders after 2000 and 2007.

It was Kim's first foreign trip since taking power in late 2011.

The Asahi said in an article from Seoul Kim's government had discussed the possibility of summits with South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russian Federation, in that order.

"We believe [Kim's] visit will help the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, ensure peace and security of the Korean peninsula and resolve problems regarding the peninsula through political negotiations and discussions", said Yang Jiechi, a special envoy of Xi to Moon, in his opening remarks during a meeting with National Security Council chief Chung Eui-yong in Seoul. North Korea though has claimed that Kim's grandfather Kim Il Sung had gone to Seoul several times during the conflict in the volatile peninsula.

By reintroducing China, which is the North's only major ally, as a major player, North Korea also gains leverage against South Korea and the U.S., analysts say. Those are: denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, building a lasting peace with lowered tensions, and finally improving inter-Korean relations.

South Korean officials led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon on Thursday arrived for the talks at the northern side of the Panmunjom border village.

The countries also agreed to hold a separate meeting to discuss communication issues, such as setting up a telephone hotline between Moon and Kim, and maintain working-level discussions, according to the statement.

A summit between North Korea's Kim and US President Donald Trump is also expected to take place by the end of May.

South Korean government officials have held high-level talks with their North Korean counterparts and set a date of 27 April for the summit.

The date was announced after officials from the two sides met to prepare for the summit.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump welcomed news of progress following the talks between the Chinese and North Korean leaders in Beijing.

Furthermore, Kim had made an unannounced and surprise visit to Beijing, where he met Chinese President Xi Jinping, that reportedly took place from March 25 to March 28. -North Korea summit, "but we also want to make sure it's done properly". Mr Trump accepted the offer and they could meet as soon as May.

As China is also anxious about military conflict on the Korean Peninsula, it has proposed a "double suspension" approach, which seeks a halt to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile activities in exchange for Washington and Seoul suspending their joint military drills. Earlier this week, of course, Kim Jong-un was in Beijing for a summit with the Chinese leader.

It's unclear whether the leaders' meetings will lead to any meaningful breakthrough. However, the North has yet to officially confirm its interest in a summit between Kim and Trump.

Events have moved quickly since then, with a flurry of official visits between the two Koreas and an advance team of Southern performers heading north on Thursday ahead of K-pop concerts in Pyongyang.

The talks will precede musical performances in Pyongyang in early April by a group of South Korean singers.



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