Rival Koreas to meet in Pyongyang; date not set

Minnie Murray
August 16, 2018

Before the Moon-Kim summit, the inter-Korean summit meetings had been held only twice in 2000 and 2007 both in the DPRK's capital of Pyongyang.

Officials from the two sides are expected to discuss ongoing economic projects and settle on some details for the inter-Korean summit they agreed to hold this fall.

The leaders of North and South Korea will hold their third summit in September, officials from the two countries announced Monday. The statement didn't give an exact date but said the inter-Korean summit would be held "within September in Pyongyang". South Korean President Kim Dae-jung met Kim Jong Un's father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang in 2000 for the first inter-Korean summit.

By contrast, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seemed to come away empty-handed from a trip to Pyongyang following the June Singapore summit between President Trump and Kim, with North Korea blaming his "gangster-like mind-set". Moon's spokesman, Kim Eui-keum, said it would be logistically hard to hold the summit before Sep 10, CNN reports.

Ri Son Gwon, the head of the North Korean delegation, told reporters that officials agreed on a particular date, but wouldn't say when because he wanted to "keep reporters wondering", the Associated Press reported. "As President Moon stated, "the improvement of relations between North and South Korea can not advance separately from resolving North Korea's nuclear program'".

However, he said it was important to clear "obstacles" that prevent inter-Korean relations from moving forward as planned.

A South Korean citizen who was repatriated from North Korea last week was arrested on Sunday morning for attempting to illegally enter the communist country, local reports said.

Seoul has been examining nine cases of potential imports of North Korean coal, which would breach a resolution passed last August by the U.N. Security Council to choke off funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The North has maintained that denuclearization is a matter to be discussed mainly with the US, not South Korea.

The two first met in April, pledging to forge closer relations and work to formally end the Korean War in an agreement called the Panmunjom Declaration.

Kim Eui-keum, spokesman for South Korea's presidential Blue House, told reporters that "early September seems a bit hard".

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