Koreas agree to hold pre-summit preparation talks
High-level contacts expected to pave way for inter-Korean summit in April. But dates and location for North Korea-US summit in May still not set
North Korea has agreed to hold high-level talks with South Korea on March 29 at the inter-border truce village of Panmunjeom to prepare for a summit of their leaders planned for April, the South said on Saturday, according to Reuters.
A team of three officials will be led by Ri Son Gwon, the chairman of North Korea’s committee for the peaceful reunification of the country, the South’s Unification Ministry said.
“This morning, North Korea sent a message through a communication channel in Panmunjeom agreeing to our suggestion made on the 22nd to hold high-level inter-Korea talks,” the ministry said in a statement.
The inter-Korean summit – which will be the third held between the competing states – is expected to take place between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late April.
The Kim-Moon talks are expected to lay the groundwork for a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart expected to take place by the end of May.
Despite a flurry of diplomatic efforts, the date and location of the latter summit – which would be the first evern between a sitting Americans president and a North Korean leader – remains undecided.
The March 29 talks will precede musical performances in Pyongyang in early April by a group of South Korean singers making a reciprocal visit after the North sent performers to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.