SEOUL (AFP) – The two Koreas have set a date for a rare inter-Korean summit, following a high-level meeting that was held days after the nuclear-armed North’s leader Kim Jong Un made his international debut with a surprise trip to China.
“According to the will of both leaders, the South and North agreed to hold the ‘2018 South-North summit’ on April 27 at the South’s Peace House in Panmunjom,’’ said a joint press statement, read out in turn by both delegations’ leaders on Thursday.
The meeting between Kim Jong Un, leader of nuclear-armed North Korea, and the South’s President Moon Jae-in will be only the third of its kind, and will be followed by landmark talks with US President Donald Trump, which could come as early as May.
The venue will make Kim the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the end of the Korean War – although according to Pyongyang’s official accounts, during the conflict his grandfather and predecessor Kim Il Sung went several times to Seoul, which twice fell to his forces.
The two sides did not settle on the summit agenda at Thursday’s meeting in the Unification Pavilion on Panmunjom’s northern side, but the South’s delegation leader Cho Myoung-gyon told reporters they agreed Kim and Moon should be able to hold “frank discussions on all matters.’’