North Korea and South Korea have agreed their leaders will meet at a summit on 27 April — just the third time the two countries’ leaders have come together and the first time since 2007.
The meeting was agreed at a high level meeting of officials at the border village of Panmunjom yesterday amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the standoff over the North’s nuclear program.
Earlier this year a flurry of diplomacy was kicked off when North Korea took part in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The leader of Pyongyang’s delegation Ri Son Gwon said Thursday’s talks were aimed at paving the way for a meeting between the leaders of North and South.
Ri, who is chairman of the North’s reunification committee, said:
Over the past 80 days or so, many events that were unprecedented in inter-Korean relations took place.
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Meanwhile, China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, was due in Seoul to brief Moon on Kim’s secretive visit to Beijing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time.
At the meeting Kim said he is committed to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula if the US and South Korea take “synchronous measures”.
Kim promised China’s President Xi Jinping that he would follow through with disarming the country’s nukes during a secret visit to China, which ran from Sunday to until this morning.
In comments reported by Chinese state news agency Xinhua, Kim said:
It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearisation on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong-il.
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.
In what could be a far more historic meeting, US President Donald Trump could sit down with Kim as early as May.
Trump yesterday tweeted Xi had told him Kim was looking forward to their planned meeting.
Received message last night from XI JINPING of China that his meeting with KIM JONG UN went very well and that KIM looks forward to his meeting with me. In the meantime, and unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018