Pyongyang proposes joint events with Seoul to mark 2000 summit

TOKYO, North Korea on Friday proposed holding joint events in South Korea to mark the anniversary of the two Koreas’ first ever summit in 2000, South Korean Unification Ministry official said, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The proposal was made during inter-Korean talks at the truce village of Panmunjom in the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone dividing the Koreas.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon led South Korea’s five-member delegation, while the North’s five-member team was headed by Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country.

In the meeting, Seoul proposed opening a liaison office in the North Korean border city of Kaesong as the first step to implement the agreements reached by their leaders in the April 27 summit. The North shared the need to open such an office as soon as possible, the report said.

The inter-Korean meeting is mainly intended to discuss follow-up measures to the agreements that South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reached in their summits held on April 27 and May 26. At the April meeting, the two leaders reaffirmed the goal of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, agreed to halt all hostile acts against each other, open a joint liaison office in Kaesong and vowed various cooperation efforts.

In their second summit held last week, Moon and Kim agreed to hold high-level talks this week and agreed to work together to make a North Korea-US summit happen. A flurry of diplomacy is underway to prepare for a potential summit between North Korea and the US, which will likely take place in Singapore on June 12 to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

In this context, Kim has reaffirmed his commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, “The DPRK’s will for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula still remains unchanged, consistent and solid,” Korean Central News Agency quoted Kim as saying during his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Pyongyang on Thursday. DPRK stands for the North’s official name; the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Kim told Lavrov that he hopes North Korea-US relations and denuclearization of the Peninsula will be solved on a stage-by-stage basis, the report said. Kim also voiced hope that North Korea and the US will resolve the denuclearization issue through effective and constructive dialogue and negotiations, and find a solution that satisfies the interests of each other through a new method in a new era.

The Russian minister arrived in the North Korean capital on Thursday, ahead of the historic summit anticipated between Kim and US President Donald Trump. In the meeting, Lavrov expressed Russia’s full support for the North’s determination to the denuclearization and its position on the North Korea-US summit, as well as wishes for a successful outcome to both issues. The two also agreed to realize a summit between Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the report noted.

Source: Kuwait News Agency