South Korean officials may visit North Korea before summit

EPA-EFE  JEON HEON-KYUN

Beginning with his Berlin Initiative, South Korean president Moon Jae-in has pursued consistent policies toward the North and sought positive responses from them.

The two sides are due to hold "working-level" talks on Wednesday and then South Korea's intelligence chief, Suh Hoon, or its national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, could visit the North to finish off preparations, if deemed necessary, South Korean presidential chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, told reporters.

During started after this high-level dialogue was the date for the inter-Korean summit on April 27. The 2 leaders have agreed to hold their first conversation using the link before their meeting. It conducted its most powerful nuclear test previous year and has sought to develop a missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland. North Korea also expressed readiness to hold a summit meeting with the United States president.

A summit between the two countries' leaders is scheduled for next week and, citing an unidentified South Korean official, the paper says will include a potential joint statement declaring an end to the 68-years-long conflict and easing of tensions.

"Without US support and agreement, it will be hard to follow through on inter-Korean agreements". "The United States will insist on complete, irreversible and verifiable North Korea's abandonment of its nuclear program in rigid timeframe".

"The inter-Korean summit can be seen as a touchstone, an overture ahead of a more important North Korea-US summit", he said, adding that if both summits were a success "many possibilities", such as normalization of political relations, economic cooperation, etc., would open up for all the participants, especially Pyongyang.

After U.S. President Donald Trump accepted Kim's proposal to hold the first-ever summit between the two countries, Kim headed to Beijing in late March to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the first known time he met the head of a foreign government.

After sharply raising regional tensions with a series of nuclear and missile tests last year, Kim has been reaching out to Seoul and Washington this year, prompting speculation over why he is doing so just as he appears close to achieving his objective of developing nuclear missiles capable of targeting the USA mainland.

They note North Korea has long said that "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" should also include the withdrawal of the 28,500 USA troops in South Korea and a halt to annual U.S.

The Munha Ilbo report said one possible way of ending the conflict could involve reverting the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone that bisects the two Koreas to its original state.

Im revealed that a direct phone link between Moon and Kim will likely be set up on Friday.

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