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S.Korea says officials may visit N.Korea ahead of summit

17 April 2018

"We should improve the frozen inter-Korean relations", Kim said in the televised address, "and glorify this meaningful year as an eventful one, noteworthy in the history of the nation". A successful meeting between Moon and Kim could pave the way for one between Kim and American President Donald Trump - the first between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader. "But it is unclear whether this will be achieved at this summit".

Thae Yong-ho was quoted on Monday as saying that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "will drag on for two to three years" without dismantling his nuclear weapons "while waiting for the US president to be replaced". Officials say they want it to be the first of many summits to happen in Panmunjom, until the two Koreas finally unify once again. The peninsula remains technically at war with a heavily fortified border separating the two countries. "It is hard to expect the two leaders to sign the deal this time as they remain far apart on who and how to sign it", said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies. "There also has to be a process of actually delivering the peace".

"Not long ago, President Xi said he is willing to maintain regular contact with Chairman Kim Jong-Un through visits, special envoys and the exchange of letters", said spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

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"North Korea might have thought the US won't begin a dialogue if it had incomplete nuclear and missile capabilities".

Moon said the ultimate goal of his upcoming summit is to establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea and North Korea will hold this week talks at a high level, which will determine the agenda of the summit of leaders of the two countries, which is scheduled for April 27.

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Panmunjom, a site that symbolizes the division of the two Koreas, will soon be a historic venue for reconciliation, as President Moon Jae-in and Kim will gather there on April 27th.

"This summit is significant because it will set the stage for the North Korea-US summit, and even a possible three-way summit between the countries", Im said.

Some of the issues that would have to be tackled include the hundreds of thousands of troops along one the most heavily fortified borders in the world; submarines and ships patrolling on both coasts; South Korea's active military alliance with the U.S; the hosting of US forces; and North Korean artillery pointed at Seoul.

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S.Korea says officials may visit N.Korea ahead of summit