Rival Koreas to meet in Pyongyang; date not set

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon left shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Ri Son Gwon during their meeting at the northern side of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone North Korea Aug. 13 2018. Senior officials from the riv

South & North Korea to hold summit in Pyongyang in September

The Koreas said in a statement that they reviewed ways to set up agreements made at the past summits during almost two hours of talks Monday.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plan to hold their third summit, announcing on Monday that they will meet in Pyongyang sometime in September.

A trip by the South's President Moon Jae-in to the North's capital would be the first such visit for more than a decade, as the diplomatic thaw on and around the peninsula builds.

Cho told reporters during a briefing on the outcome of the talks that the two sides discussed much about sanctions and possible cooperation "within the frame" of those restrictions.

The meeting comes amid renewed tensions surrounding a nuclear standoff between Washington and Pyongyang.

North Korea is thought to have a growing arsenal of nuclear bombs and long-range missiles and to be closing in on the ability to reliably target anywhere on the US mainland.

The South Korean delegation for Monday's talks was led by Cho Myoung-gyon, who oversees Seoul's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean issues, and includes Nam Gwan-pyo, a Moon aide responsible for North Korean nuclear matters.

"Views will be exchanged as well with regard to the autumn summit meeting agreed upon in the declaration", he added.

But relations subsequently soured as the North accelerated its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the South elected conservative governments. He earlier told the South Korean delegation in opening remarks that the Koreas were like very close friends with an unbreakable bond.

Kim Eui-keum, a spokesman for Moon, said that holding the summit in early September would be hard due to logistics.

The rapid rapprochement between the two neighbours that began this year paved the way for a landmark meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Singaporein June.

The South Korean Unification Minister was set to brief reporters later Monday.

Experts say Moon could try to act as a mediator between the U.S. and North Korea, having salvaged the Singapore meeting when Trump abruptly cancelled it.

The North has called for Seoul to fulfill its promise of declaring an end to the war as soon as possible, while the US has said that the North should take meaningful denuclearization steps first.

"Whether that is true is in doubt but they are trying to indirectly pressure the U.S., especially on sanctions, by showing an improvement in North-South ties and that peace has been established between them".

But Harry Harris, the USA ambassador to South Korea, said on Monday it was "too early" for such a declaration, Yonhap reported.

Both leaders are also expected to focus on hammering out a consensus on officially ending the 1950-53 Korean War, which concluded with an armistice instead of a peace treaty, at their planned third summit.

The dictator has reportedly made cattle breeding a priority, demanding improvements in meat quality and efficiency, as the North Korean population continues to starve.

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