Koreas to hold historic summit next month

Trump Announces Trade Deal Wednesday, Threatens to Change His Mind on Thursday

Koreas to hold historic summit next month

It will be the first inter-Korean summit since 2007, a delay that may be partly explained by Moon's status as his country's first left-leaning leader in a decade - bilateral ties completely broke down in the interim over the course of two conservative administrations.

Officials from the two Koreas on Thursday agreed that a planned summit between Moon Jae-in and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un will take place on April 27, a joint statement by Pyongyang and Seoul announced.

China's official Xinhua News Agency said Mr Kim made an unofficial visit to from Sunday to Wednesday.

Given that Xi is likely to boost his influence in the Asia-Pacific region with his unlimited tenure as leader - some say he could remain president for the next 20 years - Kim may become more willing to deepen relations with the Chinese leader, a diplomatic source in Beijing said. "I am interested in the U.S. -Korea agreement rather than North Korea for the won".

The United States and South Korea agreed to revise their six-year-old trade pact with a side deal to deter competitive currency devaluation by Seoul and with concessions for US autos and pharmaceutical companies, Trump administration officials said on Tuesday.

A survey conducted by RealMeter in South Korea on Monday said 73.1 percent of respondents welcomed North Korea's proposal for dialogue and willingness for denuclearisation.

"We believe his 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", Yang Jiechi said in opening remarks during a meeting with South Korea's National Security Office head, Chung Eui-yong.

The confirmation of the summit is the outcome of weeks of hurried diplomacy, after a surprise thaw in relations on the Korean peninsula earlier this year.

A South Korean unification ministry official told reporters the two Koreas would hold a working-level meeting on 4 April 4 to discuss details for the summit, such as staffing support, security and news releases.


"Moon has also faced the most unpredictable and erratic United States leader in decades, and has had to, in many ways, pick up a lot of diplomatic slack on the issue". On the same lines, a proposed summit is expected to take place between President Trump and Kim in May.

The announcement was made after officials met at the border village of Panmunjom.

In his talks with Xi, Kim may have discussed economic cooperation or requested a softening of the enforcement of sanctions over the North's nuclear weapons and missiles.

"Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong Un will do what is right for his people and for humanity", he said.

It's unclear whether the leaders' meetings could lead to any meaningful breakthrough.

The Koreas agreed to a summit when Moon's envoys visited Kim in Pyongyang earlier this month.

South Korean interlocutors who participated in the high-level dialogue Thursday included Unification Minister Cho, Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung and Yoon Young-chan, senior presidential secretary for public affairs.

South Korea's preparatory committee for the summit previously said Seoul would prepare for the meeting focusing on the three points: "the denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, a permanent peace settlement including easing military tensions dramatically, and fresh and bold progress in South-North relations".

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