South Korean officials may visit North Korea before summit


President Moon Jae-in reaffirmed his resolve Tuesday to establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, saying the denuclearization of North Korea is the most urgent task facing his country but is only part of an ultimate objective to ensure co-existence and co-prosperity of the divided Koreas. The North also had expressed readiness to hold a similar event with the President of the United States.

Plans under discussion include a visit to Pyongyang in June soon after a proposed summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, the mass-circulation daily said. The 2 leaders have agreed to hold their first conversation using the link before their meeting. "We expect the summit will confirm the denuclearization will (of North Korea)".

But Kim has changed course since the beginning of the year, sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics held in South Korea in February and agreeing to discuss with South Korea and the United States a nuclear program the North has defended as a necessary deterrent against USA invasion.

Moon has been reviewing a framework of the statement which could be called the April 27 declaration or the Panmunjom declaration, he said. Koreans from all four corners of the peninsula hope that Panmunjom - for so long a symbol of division - may become a symbol of peace as the regular meeting place for the leaders of the two Koreas.

"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. "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". He suggested that prospects for nuclear diplomacy would largely depend on what kinds of rewards the United States can offer to the North in return and whether the North will repeat its previous big demands such as the withdrawal of the US troops in South Korea.

When North Korean media reports that Kim Jong-un ascended the mountain, North Korea watchers know something major is happening.

China and North Korea have been holding talks about a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pyongyang, a Japanese newspaper reported Monday as regional leaders step up diplomatic dialogue.

Pyongyang and Seoul have technically been at war since the 1950-1953 Korean conflict ended with a truce.