North and South Korea Set Date for Summit

North and South Korea Set Date for Summit

North and South Korea Set Date for Summit

It comes days after the North Korean leader's first global trip since assuming power in 2011, during which he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and - according to Chinese state media - reaffirmed his intention to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump as well as his vague intention to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

On April 27, Moon will meet with Kim Jong Un, the first time leaders of the two Koreas have met since 2007. The two sides, did, however, agree to hold working-level talks on April 4 to hammer out further details.

North Korea and China have been described as "blood brothers" since the 1950-53 Korean War, but bilateral relations have been souring in recent years as Kim has pursued nuclear weapons, which could even pose a direct threat to Beijing in the future.

Like many South Korean leaders before him, President Moon Jae-in's term in office has become dominated by his country's northern neighbor.

Washington later said that is a matter that South Korea should deal with, calling the proposals unrealistic unless the North shows a willingness to establish trust.

The North also called for the two Koreas to sign a nonaggression treaty and replace the current armistice with a peace treaty, while suggesting the new entity would join the United Nations under a single name.

North Korea's leader - who is additionally set for a landmark meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in May - has suggested he is ready to discuss denuclearization as long as Seoul and Washington also take steps towards peace.

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. Those are: denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, building a lasting peace with lowered tensions, and finally improving inter-Korean relations. That commitment was reported by Chinese state media, although North Korea's official media made no mention of it, or Mr Kim's anticipated meeting with Mr Trump.

Kim pledged that he was "committed to denuclearisation" on the Korean peninsula, according to China's Xinhua news agency - but added this would depend on South Korea and the United States taking what he called "progressive and synchronous measures for the realisation of peace".

North and South Korea Set Date for Summit
North and South Korea Set Date for Summit

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi is spending two days in Seoul briefing South Korean officials on the results of the talks between Kim and Xi.

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon told reporters Kim's visit to China was not discussed with North Korean officials in their Thursday talks.

Trump is expected to meet with the North Korean despot before the end of May.

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono left open the possibility that Shinzo Abe might meet Kim at some point.

The question now is whether the summit can lay the groundwork for a successful Trump-Kim meeting and a return to multi-nation talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Al Jazeera's Kathy Novak, reporting from Seoul, said the announcement is "really quite a win-win situation for the South Korean president".

Yang is expected to meet other security and diplomatic officials and brief them on Kim's visit. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.

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