Koreas to hold historic summit next month

ANI | Updated: Mar 29, 2018 13:24 IST

Seoul [South Korea], Mar 29 (ANI): In an endeavour to improve ties and reduce the tensions between them, North Korea and South Korea on Thursday agreed to hold the third edition of the inter-Korean summit on April 27.

This comes after the delegations from two Koreas met at the Panmunjom, the border village located along the heavily guarded Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), which acts as the de facto border between the two countries.

In a joint statement, the delegations announced that South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet at the Peace House, situated on the southern side of Panmunjom.

"Over the past 80 days, there have been many dramatic events that have not been seen earlier," Ri Son-gwon, the North's chief delegate, said at the start of the meeting.

The upcoming inter-Korean summit will likely serve as a critical venue for discussions to resolve the nuclear programme of Pyongyang, which it said has expressed willingness to abandon the programme in exchange for peace, Yonhap news agency reported.

The two Koreas have also agreed to hold working-level talks next Wednesday, ahead of the summit.

This will be the first time an inter-Korean summit will be held after 18 years.

The previous editions of the summit were held in 2000 and 2007, both in the North Korean capital Pyongyang.

The bonhomie between the two Koreas come after Kim said in his New Year's speech in North Korea in January that he was willing to ensure good ties with South Korea.

The two Koreas also participated in the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang in South Korea. In the winter sports games, the two Koreas marched under a unified Korean flag and also fielded a joint ice hockey team, followed by performances from a group of North Korean cheerleaders and an art troupe.

This driven rapprochement has been created after North Korea's persistent nuclear and missile programs had created tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

Furthermore, Kim had made an unannounced and surprise visit to Beijing, where he met Chinese President Xi Jinping, that reportedly took place from March 25 to March 28. It was also the first time Kim had stepped out of North Korean soil since he took power in 2011.

US President Donald Trump, who earlier exchanged barbs with Kim, owing to North Korea's persistent missile tests, had last month accepted an invitation from the latter for a meet. He also wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that the meeting between President Xi and Kim was a 'great success'.

There has been a pressing need for the denuclearisation of North Korea by Japan, the US, China and South Korea. On the same lines, a proposed summit is expected to take place between President Trump and Kim in May. (ANI)