South Korea, DPRK select date for Kim and Moon meeting

Kim Jong Un meeting with South Korean president set for April 27

Kim Jong Un meeting with South Korean president set for April 27

The two leaders - South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un - will meet on April 27 at the Peace House on the southern side of the border village of Panmunjom for the first time since 2007.

The leaders of North Korea and South Korea will meet at an historic summit next month, marking the culmination of the recent thawing of a traditionally hostile relationship.

Officials from South and North Korea have agreed on April 27 as the date for high-level talks after meeting in Panmunjom. The Koreas plan to hold another preparatory meeting Wednesday to discuss security, protocol and media coverage matters, according to a statement released by the countries.

On Thursday, Trump said in a speech in OH that he might "hold up" the recently consummated free trade agreement with South Korea until a deal to denuclearize the Korean peninsula is struck with Pyongyang.

"South Korea has been wonderful, but we'll probably hold that deal up for a little while, see how it plays out", he said in a speech in Ohio.

When asked for clarification on Trump's comments on holding up the South Korean deal, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters that she had not heard the USA president's remarks.

A photo of the North Korean leader posing with five members of the South Korean delegation was splashed across the front page of the Rodong Shinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party.

Even more surprising was Kim's pledge to denuclearise the Korean peninsula. North Korea also wants Beijing to resist tougher sanctions if the talks with Washington and Seoul fall apart and the North resumes testing missiles.

After Kim and Moon meet, a summit will supposedly take place between Kim and Donald Trump in May, although no specific date has been announced.

The first summit was in June 2000 between the elder Kim and South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, a proponent of the so-called Sunshine Policy.

The South Korean embassy in Washington declined to comment.

"The issue of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability, while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realisation of peace".

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, responding to a question Thursday about reports of such talks, said Japan has all along communicated with North Korea via multiple channels. This was followed by a South Korean delegation traveling to Pyongyang to meet with Kim Jong-un. "We're going to be in a position where we periodically look at if this is in everyone's interest...everything tends to be term limited, sunsetted, and it's something that allows people to evaluate and I think that's a very positive thing".

Some analysts say Kim appears eager to conduct negotiations with Trump with Xi's backing.

The United States' highest priority is North Korea denuclearization, the U.S. State Department said Thursday.

Sweden is the protecting power for the North Korea, as the USA does not have diplomatic or consular relations with Pyongyang, notes Falk.

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