Inter-Korean high-level talks begin

30 March, 2018, 01:00 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Trade Industry and Energy Minister Paik Un-gyu

The high-level meeting Thursday was held in Tongilgak, a North Korean-controlled building in Panmunjom, to iron out specifics for the upcoming South-North summit, which both countries previously agreed to hold in Peace House, a South Korean-controlled building in Panmunjom.

North and South Korea have agreed to hold the first inter-Korean summit since 2007 on April 27, South Korean government officials say after holding high-level talks with their North Korean counterparts.

The North's proposals decades ago are catching attention at a time when the two Koreas are poised to have what will be their third inter-Korean summit in late April to discuss ways to improve their bilateral relations long frayed by the North's continued missile and nuclear provocations.

The two sides will hold another preparatory talks on April 4 to discuss various issues like protocol, security and media coverage issues. "But if both sides keep deeply aware of the historic significance and importance of the summit meeting, and work hard with prudence and a cooperative attitude, we will be able to discuss and resolve every issue swiftly and smoothly".

Cho after the meeting told South Korean reporters there was a "sufficient exchange of opinions" on the agendas of the summit, but didn't provide a clear answer on whether the discussions included the nuclear issue.

This will be the first time an inter-Korean summit will be held after 18 years.

"It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il", Kim said referring to his predecessors, according to Xinhua.

North Korea's willingness to hold talks has been welcomed by most South Koreans, albeit with scepticism over Kim's sincerity in abandoning his nuclear arsenal through dialogue, according to a recent poll.

Media banned from accessing JKIA following Miguna Miguna saga
Interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka told Reuters on Tuesday he was working on a statement but could not immediately comment. Currently Miguna is still holed up at the airport without a clear way forward on when he will be released.

The South's JoongAng Daily newspaper said in an editorial Thursday that the meeting "makes the situation more complicated because Xi stepped into the negotiation all of a sudden". Kim may also meet with President Donald Trump.

A TOP South Korean official set off today for a high-level meeting with the North's officials in the Demilitarised Zone to prepare for an inter-Korean summit, days after Kim Jong-un made his worldwide debut with a surprise trip to China.

Even so, the current air of détente and hope is an about-turn from the events of 2017, when, amid nuclear and missile tests by North Korea, and a war of words between Pyongyang and Washington, there were fears that the United States might conduct a military strike on the North.

China has supported North Korea's plan, saying Kim's visit to Beijing this week should help ease tensions.

He also wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that the meeting between President Xi and Kim was a "great success".

It was Kim's first known trip outside North Korea since he became leader in 2011.

But North Korea has opposed this solution, claiming that this model is how Gaddafi was expelled from power and later killed.

"North Korean negotiating posture has one core objective, which is regime survival, and having spent the last 25 years acquiring nuclear deterrent it is hard to believe that the North Koreans are prepared to give that up", he said.

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