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S. Koreans may visit North again ahead of first summit in decade

17 April 2018

"Given the historical importance of the upcoming summits [inter-Korean Summit and the DPRK-U.S. Summit], the President of the Republic of Korea can not leave the country".

A successful Moon-Kim summit could help pave the way for the Trump-Kim meeting, which would be the first between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (right) shakes hands with South delegation leader Chung Eui-yong in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency March 6, 2018. With the test of that long-range missile in November, the North said it had "realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force".

North Korea responded after months or years of confrontation, agreeing to take part in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games held earlier this year in South Korea. "Astana looks forward to serious outcomes of the forthcoming inter-Korean Summit and hopes the top-level meeting will become a breakthrough in relations between the two countries and help ease tensions in the Korean peninsula". -North Korea summit, but it will likely create the foundation for any progress at the Trump-Kim meeting.

South Korea has picked "Peace, a new start" as the slogan for the upcoming inter-Korean summit set for April 27th at the truce village Panmunjeom.

The festival is a biennial event held to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founder and grandfather of the current leader.

The peninsula remains bisected in a perpetual stalemate, with the US -backed South Korean military lined up against more than a million North Korean troops.

"That itself shows that the North understands it needs to first sort things out with the South before it can reach an actual deal with the US", a Cheong Wa Dae official said, noting that the North long insisted on talking directly and only with the USA when it came to nuclear and security issues. Panmunjom is also where the Korean War Armistice Agreement was signed in 1953, ending the fighting, but leaving the two Koreas technically in a state of war to this day.

It will mark the first time in history for the denuclearization issue to be included in inter-Korean dialogue, let alone at a summit, they noted.

S. Koreans may visit North again ahead of first summit in decade