Historic meeting: North Korea makes agreement with South Korea
Seoul (Reuters): Kim Jong-un has agreed to hold a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, after the North Korean leader spent more than four hours with Moon’s special envoys late Monday in an historic first meeting with officials from south of the border.
The envoys delivered Moon’s intention to hold the summit with Kim, who took power in late 2011, and the two Koreas made a “satisfactory agreement” on the proposal, North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said.
“Hearing the intention of President Moon Jae-in for a summit from the special envoy of the south side, he [Kim Jong-un] exchanged views and made a satisfactory agreement,” the Korean Central News Agency said.
Kim “gave the important instruction to the relevant field to rapidly take practical steps for it,” KCNA added, according to a translation by Japan’s Kyodo news agency.
The heads of South Korea’s security and intelligence services were in the North Korean capital to persuade Kim to start talks with the US on denuclearisation and stave off a potential conflict over his nuclear programme.
But Seoul later said no agreement had yet been reached on a meeting between Kim and Moon, which would be the first such summit since 2007.
“It’s not an agreement, it’s discussions,” an official from the South’s presidential Blue House said, adding that the two sides had “somewhat shared the view” on other points.
Kim’s talks with the South Koreans lasted more than four hours, and included dinner at the North’s ruling Workers Party headquarters in Pyongyang, according to the Blue House.
Details would be made public after the delegation returns late Tuesday, it said.
The South Korean envoys are due to travel to Washington later this week to discuss the results of their discussions with the Trump administration.
Their two-day trip follows a visit by Kim’s sister to South Korea last month, when she invited Moon to North Korea to meet her brother.
Moon then avoided an immediate answer, suggesting that the two Koreas make it happen by creating the right circumstances.