Koreas' Leaders Will Hold New Summit In Pyongyang Next Month

Geneva Stokes
August 16, 2018

Representatives from the two Koreas announced the September meeting after a round of high-level talks between officials from Pyongyang and Seoul at the DMZ Monday.

In proposing the minister-level talks, the North made it clear that it wanted to discuss matters related to another meeting between the two leaders and follow-up measures to the Panmunjom Declaration they signed after their April 27 summit.

North Korea's Kim Jong-un and South Korea's Moon Jae-in will meet in Pyongyang in September following talks between the two sides at the demilitarised zone.

On Sunday, a North Korean propaganda website blamed Seoul's "blind obedience" to US-led sanctions for what it called the failure to make progress since Moon and Kim met on the border in a blaze of publicity in April.

Monday's talks came amid worries that the denuclearization process seems to have been in a stalemate since the June 12 summit in Singapore between North Korea and the United States.

Kim Eui-keum, a spokesman for Moon, said that holding the summit before September 10 would be hard due to logistics. Moreover, the negotiations would be dedicated to what had been achieved by the two sides since their previous summits, the outlet suggested.

"For South Korea, President Moon wants to improve inter-Korean ties but that's hard without progress in US-North Korea talks", he told AFP.

Pyongyang has previously lavishly celebrated the occasion with military parades or mass games involving thousands of people performing acrobatic choreography in unison, and is expected this time to hold its first mass games for five years, boosting tourism revenues.

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North Korea is represented by a group of officials led by Ri Son Gwon, the chairman of the country's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification.

The agreement comes amid an ongoing nuclear standoff between Washington and Pyongyang.

They met again in May in advance of Kim's summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore.

North Korea's decision to return Suh last week marked the first such move since it repatriated a 40-year-old South Korean citizen in November 2011, after detaining him for 40 days.

Meanwhile the U.S. has urged the global community to maintain tough sanctions on the isolated regime.

Kim has, in fact, said he was willing to end his country's nuclear arms program in return for the end of sanctions and guarantees of peace from the United States, South Korea and the global community.

Kim Eui-keum, spokesman for South Korea's presidential Blue House, told reporters that "early September seems a bit hard".

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