Orean leaders to hold third summit in Pyongyang

16 August, 2018, 12:20 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and Ri Son Gwon chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country arrive for their meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom

The two Koreas held a fresh round of talks at the DMZ on Monday to discuss the third summit, led by the South's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's reunification committee.

However, South Korea's presidential Blue House said the summit could be held in mid or late September.

When he does go, Moon will be the third South Korean president to travel to the North Korean capital, and the first in more than a decade.

Cho did not say if North Korea had raised the case of the restaurant workers on Monday, merely saying it had not brought up new issues. What should be noted is that North Korean leader Kim hopes to meet Moon while maintaining such a position.

The schedule had mostly been coordinated with North Korea and the summit would likely be held in Pyongyang, it said.

But relations subsequently soured as the North accelerated its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the South elected conservative governments.

The exact date and location of their next meeting have yet to be decided, but at their historic April summit in Panmunjom they agreed Moon would visit Kim in Pyongyang during the autumn. As The Korea Herald reports, on September 9, North Korea will celebrate 70 years of existence under the regime that was founded by Kim Jong Un's grandfather, Kim Il Sung.

Kim Eui-keum, a spokesman for Moon, said that holding the summit before September 10 would be hard due to logistics.

The meeting comes amid a growing standoff on North Korean denuclearization that has followed Kim's summit with President Donald Trump in June in Singapore.

Cross-border exchanges between the two Koreas have significantly increased since then, with the neighbors planning to hold reunions for war-separated families next week for the first time in three years.

Seoul has been examining nine cases of potential imports of North Korean coal, which would breach a resolution passed last August by the U.N. Security Council to choke off funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Last week, North Korea complained that some high-level US officials were "going against the intention of President Trump" by sticking to "old scenarios" and taking a hard line on maintaining sanctions on the country.

Experts are seeing slow progress on efforts to disarm North Korea since the Singapore summit.

In recent weeks, the Trump administration appears to have entered rougher waters in its attempts to persuade North Korea to denuclearize.

Conversations over a permanent peace treaty to end the Korean War will be ongoing, with speculation suggesting that the North is pushing for concrete progress on this front before committing to additional disarmament.



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