Rival Korean Leaders To Meet In Historic Summit


What was meant to be a weeklong trip to Washington stretched into a four-week marathon, as dozens of Seoul officials sought to wrap up talks aimed at amending the six-year-old U.S. -Korea Free Trade Agreement known as KORUS, according to several South Korean officials with direct knowledge of the matter. The time and place for that meeting have not yet been announced.

Experts argue that Kim is reaching out to China to support him in the upcoming North-South summit as well as in his meeting with the United States.

South Korean experts are also concerned that Pyongyang might request a ban on the deployment to the Korean Peninsula of US bombers with nuclear weapons as a condition for denuclearization. "North Korea talks, it could unnecessarily complicate our relationship".

Mr Trump this month accepted an invitation to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. All parties are expected to discuss the denuclearization of North Korea.

South Korean government officials have held high-level talks with their North Korean counterparts and set a date of 27 April for the summit.

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".

In an earlier meeting in North Korea with special envoys from South Korea, Pyongyang also pledged to not use nuclear or conventional weapons against Seoul as long as dialogue continued between the two Koreas.

Explaining the greater complexity of the North Korean problem, the official said the nuclear issue had been "ongoing for 25 years" and could not be resolved in one stroke as if by "unplugging the television".

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"We mostly lived off on instant noodles and quick seaweed rice wraps bought from Korean supermarkets to save time", the official said.

Trump may be suggesting that a prospective nuclear deal with North Korea is desired by South Korea, so by delaying it the USA could extract better trade terms with the South. Instead, South Korea will face a quota on its steel exports to the U.S.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told parliament that his nation would consider holding talks with North Korea in the context of the other summits taking place.

The ministry had made a request to the USA side, said a senior ministry official who declined to identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency made no mention of whether denuclearization of North Korea was discussed when Kim Jong Un met on March 26 in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping. And, as of this writing, neither the U.S. Trade Representative's office nor the South Korean embassy has issued a statement on Trump's threat. "Later on, we got closer and our relations developed to something like a bromance". By reintroducing China, which is North Korea's only major ally, as a major player, the North also gains leverage against South Korea and the United States, analysts say.

MR PAIK UN GYU, South Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Moon Sung-muk, director of unification strategy at the National Strategy Institute, said that the China-North Korea summit was a result of "North Korea needing Chinese support in the upcoming summits with South Korea and the United States, and China wanting to hold influence over North Korea", adding that "North Korea may also hold a summit with Russian Federation along the context to gain advantage".