Caixin
Mar 29, 2018 06:20 PM
WORLD

North, South Korea Leaders Set Date for Peace Talks

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon shakes hands with North Korea's chief delegate Ri Son Gwon at their meeting in Panmunjom, which lies in the Demilitarized Zone between the countries on March 29. Photo: VCG
South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon shakes hands with North Korea's chief delegate Ri Son Gwon at their meeting in Panmunjom, which lies in the Demilitarized Zone between the countries on March 29. Photo: VCG

North and South Korean leaders will meet on April 27 for their first peace talks since 2007, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Thursday.

The official talks will be held at the Peace House in Panmunjom, which lies within the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone between the two states, representatives of the countries decided on Thursday, according Yonhap.

A work meeting will be held on April 4 between North Korea and South Korea to discuss the details of the summit, including security and the media.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are expected to discuss Korean Peninsula denuclearization, easing of military tension and the establishing of a permanent peace system, Yonhap reported.

The meeting will be the third time that the South and North have held summit talks. In June 2000, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung met with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il. And in October 2007, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong Il held summit talks.

Thursday’s announcement comes after the Chinese government revealed details of an unofficial meeting this week between North Korea’s Kim and China’s President Xi Jinping, during which Kim reportedly declared his commitment to denuclearization “if South Korea and the United States respond to (North Korea’s) efforts with goodwill.”

In response to news of the Kim-Xi meeting, a spokesperson for South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday that President Moon welcomed the talks between China and North Korea, according to Yonhap. Kim’s discussion of North Korea’s willingness to denuclearize, during talks with Xi, will be of great significance to the upcoming inter-Korean and North Korea-U.S. summits, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, top Chinese diplomat and Politburo member Yang Jiechi is on a two-day trip to Seoul, where he is expected to meet President Moon, as well as Moon’s security advisor Chung Eui-yong, to discuss the security of the Korean Peninsula, among other issues.

Contact reporter Teng Jing Xuan (jingxuanteng@caixin.com)

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