North, South Korea agree to hold summit

North, South Korea agree to hold summit

North, South Korea agree to hold summit

On March 24, North Korea accepted South Korea's invitations for high-level talks to agree a date and venue for an intra-Korean summit due in April.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet his South Korean counterpart President Moon Jae-in at a border village on April 27, Seoul announced on Thursday. Both sides also agreed to hold a preparatory meeting on April 4 to discuss details on security and news releases at the summit.

The South Korean delegation was led by Cho Myoung-gyon, the unification minister, while Ri Son-gwon, chairman of an agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs, headed the team of officials from North Korea.

However, the North has yet to officially confirm its interest in a summit between the leaders. The Korean Peninsula was divided in 1945 into a US-dominated south and Soviet-backed north.

China, believed to have influence over North Korea as its main economic lifeline, has been urged by the worldwide community to put more pressure to induce Pyongyang to implement concrete steps toward denuclearization of the peninsula.

Against this backdrop, South Korea's presidential office said a Chinese official was heading to Seoul to brief President Moon about the summit this week between North Korea's and China's leaders.

The US leader made the equally surprising announcement earlier this month that he was prepared to meet Kim to discuss the crisis over Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons capable of hitting the US.

"Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong Un will do what is right for his people and for humanity", he said.

Trump and Kim had exchanged insults and veiled threats of war in recent months but the USA leader made the surprising announcement this month that he was prepared to meet Kim to discuss the crisis over the North's development of weapons.

North, South Korea agree to hold summit

In the surest sign yet that Kim is intent on engaging in worldwide talks, the North Korean leader made his first foreign trip as leader to Beijing this week to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Even so, the current air of détente and hope is an about-turn from the events of 2017, when, amid nuclear and missile tests by North Korea, and a war of words between Pyongyang and Washington, there were fears that the U.S. might conduct a military strike on the North.

North Korea's diplomatic outreach came after the country's advancement of its nuclear and missile programmes heightened tensions previous year, putting it under tougher worldwide sanctions.

According to a wire sent from the then South Korean ambassador to Seoul's headquarters dated December 14, 1987, Gorbachev asked Colin Powell, Reagan's security adviser, whether he reviewed the North's proposals.

It was Kim's first foreign trip since taking power in late 2011.

The last summit took place in 2007 between the former leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il and the ex-South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.

"We hope all South Koreans will be united in making a groundbreaking turning point for peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula at the summit".

The Asahi newspaper reported Thursday that Kim's administration has mentioned a possible summit with Abe in June following one with U.S. President Donald Trump.

'Suspicious packages' sent to Central Intelligence Agency and USA military facilities
Few details were released on the package found at Fort Belvoir, but a base spokesman said that it had been rendered safe. Baldanza says the incident is under investigation and the Pentagon was referring all inquiries to the FBI.

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