23 May 2024

(REUTERS) – North and South Korea agreed to hold a summit in Pyongyang in September, the latest step forward in cross-border ties this year after more high-level talks today, the South’s Unification Ministry said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in April and May at the border truce village of Panmunjom, within the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas, and agreed that the next summit in autumn would be held in the North Korean capital.

The two Koreas held a fresh round of talks at the DMZ today to discuss the third summit, led by the South’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North’s reunification committee.

Ri said both sides agreed on specific details, including the date for the summit, but declined to elaborate.

However, again without giving details, he said it was important to clear “obstacles” that prevent inter-Korean relations from moving forward as planned.

“If the issues that were raised at the talks aren’t resolved, unexpected problems could emerge and the issues that are already on the schedule may face difficulties,” Ri said at the end of the meeting.

Cho also refused to specify the problems raised by Ri but said there was talk of humanitarian issues and ways to improve inter-Korean relations.

He said the next summit in Pyongyang would help improve cross-border ties by allowing the two leaders to discuss the North’s denuclearization and how to establish peace on the Korean peninsula.

A trip by the President Moon to the North’s capital would be the first such visit for more than a decade, as the diplomatic thaw on the peninsula builds.