World News

South Korean officials may visit North Korea before summit

South Korean officials may visit North Korea before summit

A successful Moon-Kim summit could help pave the way for the Trump-Kim meeting, which would be the first between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader. Some experts say harsh United Nations sanctions or fears of US strikes could have driven Kim to initiate the peace offensive. "Peace is as complicated as denuclearisation", John Delury, an associate professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul, told Bloomberg. But Pyongyang has insisted that the two Koreas should sign a non-aggression treaty and a peace treaty should be signed between North Korea and the US. Under his rule, the North's economy has gradually improved with some capitalist elements allowed, such as outdoor markets.

"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. With the test of that long-range missile in November, the North said it had "realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force". "So the North could have thought it should demonstrate an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) capability to get the U.S.to feel a threat and come to talks", Moon Chung-in said.

After meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang in March, South Korea's national security adviser and spy chief said Kim was committed to denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and had expressed a willingness to meet U.S. President Donald Trump. Kim also said he has no reason to possess nuclear weapons if he has a credible security guarantee and doesn't face outside military threats, according to the South Korean envoys.

No peace treaty has been signed to replace the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, and the USA and North Korea have been at loggerheads since formal hostilities ended. The concert, titled "Spring is Coming", consisted of a lineup of popular South Korean performers including several veteran vocalists who previously performed in front of the North Korean audience.

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The South's presidential Blue House said on Tuesday that Seoul might send special envoys to North Korea if necessary to ensure the success of the highly anticipated summit.

The statement would likely focus on issues of denuclearisation and peace on the Korean peninsula, and an improvement in relations not only between the two Koreas but also with other countries including the United States.

South and North Korea are discussing plans to declare an official end to the military conflict that has technically existed between the two countries since 1950, the South Korean Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified South Korean official.


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