Joint economic efforts and North Korean human rights issues are off the agenda for the inter-Korean summit

By Rachel Dobbs

Certain topics are already off the agenda for the inter-Korean summit at the end of April, including joint economic efforts, according to a senior South Korean official.

North Korean human rights abuses are also not thought to be up for discussion, despite more than 200 NGOs calling for them to be included.

Topics likely to be on the agenda include North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and general relations between South and North Korea.

South Korea’s Munhwa Ilbo newspaper also reported that the two sides have been discussing plans for a permanent end to the war.

South Korea’s presidential national security director, Chung Eui-yong, has said that the North has agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons if military threats are resolved and it is given a credible security guarantee.

Meanwhile, a website updating the public on the upcoming inter-Korean summit is up and running.

Korean summit

The homepage of the new website for the Korean summit, will give news, photos, and broadcasts of the summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to be held at the truce village of Panmunjeom.

This is one of the videos now featured on the site, celebrating the two country’s performances at the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea.

President Moon and North Korea’s Kim are scheduled to meet on 27 April at Peace House on the South Korean side of the Joint Security Area (a portion of the Korean Demilitarised Zone where forces from both states stand face-to-face).

This will be the first inter-Korean summit in 11 years and the third overall.

Additionally, South Korean officials may visit the North Korean capital of Pyongyang ahead of the leaders’ meeting. It is also reported that the two countries have set up a telephone hotline between their respective leaders.

The inter-Korea summit comes before a unprecedented meeting between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, planned to take place before the end of May.

If it goes ahead, this will be the first time a sitting US President has met the leader of North Korea since the Korean War. The aim of the meeting is to discuss the denuclearisation of North Korea.

While North Korea has not publicly responded to the proposed meeting with Trump, a White House source told CNN that US and North Korean intelligence agents had met in a third country to discuss possible venues.

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