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Kim Jong Un to meet Donald Trump in May

On the heels of Kim Jong Un’s recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, leaders of North and South Korea will hold the third edition of the inter-Korean summit on April 27, after eleven years.

According to reports from Seoul, the two Koreas will endeavour to improve ties and reduce the tensions between them.  The previous editions of the summit were held in 2000 and 2007, both in the North Korean capital Pyongyang.

This was agreed on Thursday after the delegations from two Koreas met at the Panmunjom, the border village located along the heavily guarded Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), which acts as the de facto border between the two countries.

In a joint statement, the delegations announced that South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet at the Peace House, situated on the southern side of Panmunjom.

“Over the past 80 days, there have been many dramatic events that have not been seen earlier,” Ri Son-gwon, the North’s chief delegate, said at the start of the meeting.

The upcoming inter-Korean summit will likely serve as a critical venue for discussions to resolve the nuclear programme of Pyongyang, which it said has expressed willingness to abandon the programme in exchange for peace.

According to Seoul based Korea Times, a working-level meeting will take place on April 4 to arrange protocol, security and press coverage.

The joint statement was issued five hours after the meeting led by South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and his counterpart Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, began at the Peace House on the South’s side of Panmunjeom at 10 a.m. (6.30 am IST).

“I have mentioned the proverb ‘well begun is half done’ several times, but it seems we have come more than halfway by arranging the inter-Korean summit just four months after a high-level meeting in January,” said the South Korean minister after the meeting.

“The two leaders’ meeting will be another beginning for the great journey toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the settlement of peace and the development of inter-Korean relations,” he added.

“If both sides perceive the summit’s historical significance and importance, and make efforts with a serious and cooperative attitude, we will be able to resolve all issues swiftly and without difficulty,” Ri the North Korean minister said.

The bonhomie between the two Koreas come after Kim said in his New Year’s speech in North Korea in January that he was willing to ensure good ties with South Korea.

The North Korean sportspersons participated in the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang in South Korea. In the winter sports games, the two Koreas marched under a unified Korean flag.

This driven rapprochement has been created after North Korea’s persistent nuclear and missile programs had created tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

Recently North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made an unannounced and surprise visit to Beijing, where he met Chinese President Xi Jinping, that reportedly took place from March 25 to March 28. It was also the first time Kim had stepped out of North Korean soil since he took power in 2011.

US President Donald Trump, who earlier exchanged barbs with Kim, owing to North Korea’s  nuclear test and persistent missile tests, had last month accepted an invitation from the latter for a meet. He also wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that the meeting between President Xi and Kim was a ‘great success’.

There has been a pressing need for the denuclearisation of North Korea by Japan, the US, China and South Korea. On the same lines, a proposed summit is expected to take place between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in May.

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