North, South Korea leaders to meet for summit on April 27

01 April, 2018, 12:25 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • South Korean delegation led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon second from left and North Korean delegation led by Ri Son Gwon second from right attend a meeting at the northern side of the Panmunjom North Korea pn Thursday

The two Koreas had agreed to hold the summit at the border truce village of Panmunjom when South Korean President Moon Jae-in sent a delegation to Pyongyang this month to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Opening diplomatic ties with Washington or withdrawal of part, or all, of some 28,000 US troops stationed in the South could be other demands in exchange for terminating its nuclear and missile program.

"We still have a fair number of issues to resolve on a working-level for preparations over the next month", said Ri Son Gwon, the chairman of North Korea's committee for the peaceful reunification of the country in closing remarks to the South Korean delegation.

"We believe Kim's visit will help the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, ensure peace and security and solve problems regarding the Korean Peninsula through political negotiations and discussions", he said.

Japan's Asahi newspaper said today Japan had sounded out the North Korean government about a bilateral summit. A tentative thaw began earlier this year with North Korean participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea's Pyeongchang. Trump has accepted an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a meeting in May. The last Inter-Korean summit was held in October 2007, when then President Roh Moo-hyun met Kim's father, Kim Jong Il.

Cho said that "both parties have made sufficient exchanges concerning the agenda of the summit", adding that "a follow-up session may commence in April to further discuss the agenda if necessary".

The official's comment demonstrates that Seoul is not looking at the 2003 Libya disarmament framework that led Colonel Qaddafi to dispose of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and nuclear weapons, in return for sanctions relief from the worldwide community.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi is spending two days in Seoul briefing South Korean officials on the results of the talks between Kim and Xi.


South Korea settled disputes with the Trump administration over steel tariffs and the revision of a free-trade agreement this week.

In that regard, experts speculate that North Korea's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong-ho plans to visit Moscow next month to talk about a possible summit between North Korea and Russian Federation. But it's going to be very interesting over the next period of time.

South Korean officials, who announced the date after high-level talks with North Korean counterparts, said the agenda would largely be denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and improving inter-Korean relations. In its coverage of the Kim-Xi meeting, the North's state media didn't mention Kim's reported comments about opening a dialogue with the United States that were carried in Chinese state media.

The North's diplomatic outreach comes after an unusually provocative year in which it conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles created to target the US mainland. Trump said Thursday he might postpone finalization of the deal.

A summit between Kim and President Donald Trump is also anticipated by the end of May.

SEOUL-While North Korea's consent on summit talks with the South was greeted as a welcome development, the pressing issue of whether it will dismantle its nuclear weapons program remains anyone's guess.

They also argue that this is a message directed at China not to use its meeting with Kim Jong-un as an opportunity to retreat from sanctions on North Korea.

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