Koreas to hold summit in Pyongyang next month

Cheryl Sanders
August 18, 2018

There they agreed that Moon would visit the North's capital in the autumn, though the pair met again in May in an unannounced meeting at Panmunjom.

Ri said the two sides had agreed on a date for the summit, but he declined to elaborate.

The North Korea has also accused the United States government of "unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization", following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Pyongyang visit, where he reportedly urged North Korea to take concrete steps toward denuclearization.

The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that no official meetings or negotiations are now planned between Washington and Pyongyang, but that informal talks continue on a regular basis.

Shortly after Moon and Kim's first meeting in April, officials from the two Koreas began exploring how the nations could link their rail systems.

Kim's regime has advocated a phased approach in which the USA would grant North Korea a peace deal and other security guarantees in concert with its own disarmament steps.

To this end, South Korea will seek to physically connect its roads and railways with those of North Korea before the year's end, the president said.

"But it is necessary for the South Korean government to clarify what the concept of "complete denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula means... to promote the DPRK-U.S. nuclear talks", Cheong Seong-chang, Vice President of Research Planning at the Sejong Institute, said.

If the third Moon-Kim summit takes place, the two are also expected to focus on hammering out a consensus on officially ending the 1950-53 Korean War, which concluded with an armistice instead of a peace treaty.

USA officials have told Reuters that North Korea had yet to agree to a timeline for eliminating its nuclear arsenal or to disclose its size, which us estimates have put at between 30 and 60 warheads.

Pyongyang claims Washington must first make a stronger effort to build confidence and assure its security before denuclearization can occur. This comes amid growing friction between the United States and North Korea.

The US has urged the global community to maintain tough sanctions on the isolated regime. Ri said the United States is "not doing enough" to reciprocate the action towards their denuclearization. Seoul has been preparing for possible economic collaboration with Pyongyang that could go ahead when sanctions are lifted.

Kim also sent a telegram to Putin on Wednesday.

In opening statements as the talks got underway Monday, both sides emphasized friendship and rapprochement as priorities.

Under the declaration, the two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation and exchanges.

Information for this article was contributed by Jihye Lee of Bloomberg News; by Youkyung Lee of The Associated Press; by Choe Sang-Hun of The New York Times; and by Simon Denyer and Min Joo Kim of The Washington Post.

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