North and South Korea agree to hold summit

South Korean envoys in historic trip to North meet Kim Jong Un

The visit by the 10-member delegation, which is being led by the South Korean president's national security director, Chung Eui-yong, is also the first high-level visit by South Korean officials to the North in about a decade.

"Hearing the intention of President Moon Jae In for a summit from the special envoy of the south side, (Kim Jong Un) exchanged views and made a satisfactory agreement", the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said of the meeting.

Both North Korea and the United States have said before they are open to talks but the US position has been that dialogue must be aimed at North Korea's denuclearisation, something Pyongyang has rejected.

The comments were made after South Korean officials returned from a visit to the North, where they met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

More than six years after assuming power, North Korea's Kim Jong Un has yet to complete one of the defining rituals of a world leader - hosting another head of state, or being welcomed by one on an official visit overseas.

That meeting would be held in Panmunjom, the "truce village" that straddles the border between North and South.

That will see Kim meet with South Korean president Moon Jae-in.

South Korean authorities have seized two vessels suspected of moving oil to the North.

North Korea has regularly vowed never to give up its nuclear programme, which it sees as an essential deterrent against United States plans for invasion.

The United States says that it will only talk to North Korea if it is willing to discuss giving up its nuclear weapons.

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However, the state-run media did not mention the issue of denuclearization or dialogue between the United States and North Korea.

The past two inter-Korean summits, held in 2000 and 2007, were attended by former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and successive liberal South Korean presidents.

Just over an hour later, he added: "Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea".

The North Korean report sought to make Kim look statesmanlike as he welcomed the visiting South Koreans, with Kim offering views on "activating the versatile dialogue, contact, cooperation and exchange".

KIM Jong-un has vowed to scrap nukes to fulfil his dictator dad's last wish - but Donald Trump is not getting his hopes up. In the call on March 1, Moon briefed Trump on North Korea-related developments, and the leaders reaffirmed their stance that any talks with Pyongyang must have verifiable denuclearization as the goal.

He told the country's Yonhap news agency: "Chairman Kim said that even denuclearisation could be among the agenda items for talks between North Korea and the USA".

Chung and Suh will also visit Washington later in the week to share the results with US officials.

American officials have frequently said they can only negotiate with North Korea if they scrap their nuclear weapons. And achieving its nuclear aims rests on the North resuming tests of missiles and bombs that set the region on edge.

Though Chung is officially leading the delegation, the attendance of South Korea's spy chief, Suh Hoon, could signal that the two sides are laying the groundwork for Moon to eventually meet with Kim in person.

The US has maintained that it will denuclearize North Korea whether by force or by diplomacy, making the subject of denuclearization the major roadblock toward peace on the Korean Peninsula since 1994.



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