South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday agreed to hold a summit on April 27 in the truce village of Panmunjom, the first meeting between the leaders of the two sides in 11 years.
The agreement was reached during a high-level dialogue between the two sides, which were held earlier in the day at Tongilgak, a DPRK building in Panmunjom.
ROK Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyun (L) talks with his DPRK counterpart Ri Son Gwon (R), who is chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, during their meeting at the Unification Pavilion building on the northern side of the border truce village of Panmunjom on March 29, 2018.
A joint statement from the high-level talks said Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to hold their third summit on April 27 at Peace House, a South Korean building in Panmunjom.
If held as agreed upon, top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un would become the country's first leader to set foot on the South Korean territory since the 1950-53 Korean war ended in armistice.
The first and second inter-Korean summits were held in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007, respectively.
Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, who led the three-member South Korean delegation to the high-level talks, told a press briefing that the two sides sufficiently exchanged views on the summit agenda.
If necessary, the two sides will hold another senior-level dialogue on the summit agenda in April, Cho said, noting that the two sides shared a view on preparations for the inter-Korean summit that is sincere and candid.
Based on a shared view that the April summit will have a significant, historical meaning in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, settling peace on the peninsula and developing inter-Korean relations, South Korea and the DPRK agreed to make joint efforts for the successful summit, the unification minister noted.
The two sides also agreed to hold working-level talks at the South Korean side in Panmunjom on April 4 to discuss protocol, security service and press report. A separate dialogue on communications will also be held, according to the joint statement.
Other practical issues, which can be raised, will be discussed in the form of letter exchange, the joint statement said.
The inter-Korean summit would be followed by a summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, who said he would meet the DPRK leader by the end of May.
For Thursday's high-level dialogue, the South Korean delegation included Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon,
Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung, and senior presidential secretary for public relations Yoon Young-chan.
From the DPRK side, the chief delegate was Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (CPRF). Two other delegates were CPRF vice chairman Jon Jong Su and CPRF director Kim Myong Il.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)