North Korea and South Korea to hold summit

The last inter-Korean summit was in 2007 when late former president Roh Moo-hyun was in office
North Korea and South Korea to hold summit
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chung Eui-yong who is leading a special delegation of South Korea's President – Photo: KCNA via REUTERS
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North and South Korea will hold their first summit in more than a decade at the border village of Panmunjom in late April, the South’s Presidential Office said on Tuesday after a senior delegation returned from a visit to the North where they met leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un said it is his “firm will to vigorously advance” and “write a new history of national reunification” with South Korea to a visiting delegation of high-ranking South Korean officials, the North’s official news agency said.

“Hearing the intention of President Moon Jae In for a summit from the special envoy of the south side, he exchanged views and made a satisfactory agreement,” said Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) of the meeting that took place on Monday without detailing what that agreement was.

“He gave the important instruction to the relevant field to rapidly take practical steps for it. He also made an exchange of in-depth views on the issues for easing the acute military tensions on the Korean Peninsula and activating the versatile dialogue, contact, cooperation and exchange,” the report said.

“North Korea made clear its willingness to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and the fact there is no reason for it to have a nuclear programme if military threats against the North are resolved and its regime is secure,” the Head of the South Korean delegation, Chung Eui-yong, told a media briefing.

North and South Korea, still technically at war but enjoying a significant easing in tension since the Winter Olympics in the South last month.

Chung cited the North as saying it would not carry out nuclear or missile tests while talks with the international community were underway. North Korea has not carried out any such tests since November last year.

To ensure close communication, the two Koreas, whose 1950-1953 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty, will set up a hotline between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un, Chung said.

The last inter-Korean summit was in 2007 when late former president Roh Moo-hyun was in office.

The agreement came on the heels of the visit made by a 10-member South Korean delegation led by Chung to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.

Kim Jong Un met senior South Korean government officials for the first time and said it was his “firm will to vigorously advance” inter-Korean ties and pursue reunification, the North’s official news agency said earlier.


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