Koreas Hold Preparatory Talks Ahead of Landmark Summit

Posted April 07, 2018

The meeting kicked off around 10 a.m. (Seoul time) and lasted for four hours on the southern side of the joint security area, also known as Panmunjeom, according to the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

Vice-Admiral Kostyukov suggested that the hard stance against North Korea adopted by US President Donald Trump backfired as it only urged North Korean authorities to push for additional progress to develop stronger nuclear capabilities. Based on the tests, experts said North Korea could probably get a missile to hit the United States mainland - but still lacked the technology to carry a heavy nuclear warhead that far.

Officials from the two sides will meet again on Saturday for another round of working-level talks to discuss setting up a hotline between the leaders of North and South Korea.

The previous summits in 2000 and 2007 were recorded and aired later. North and South Korea will hold their first summit in more than a decade on April 27, South Korea has said.

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Experts, noting the shift in the summit's venue, said that the focus of Thursday's talks would be about drawing up a new plan for the safety of the two leaders.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appears to have instructed a ranking Pyongyang official to make his rare apology to South Korean reporters earlier this week for restricting their coverage of a concert by South Korean musicians in Pyongyang, the South's culture minister said Friday.

On the South's reception for Kim, Hong said it would also have to be planned within a framework that would not fuel controversy in the global community.

There has been a pressing need for the denuclearisation of North Korea by Japan, the US, China and South Korea.

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Thursday's meeting was originally scheduled to be held Wednesday, but the North requested that it be delayed by one day.

The working-level talks were supposed to be held on Wednesday, but Pyongyang on Tuesday had asked Seoul to delay them to Thursday.

"Our written evidence sets out where we are in dealing with that threat, but of course while we judge that Kim's offensive cyber-capability is mainly directed towards South Korea, the consequences of irresponsible use of viruses and cyber-weaponry are unpredictable by their very nature, as we saw with the WannaCry virus", Howe noted.

Kim has since embarked on a diplomatic overture that has seen him pencil in summit meetings with the South and the U.S. and make his global debut with a visit to Beijing - his first overseas trip since taking power in 2011. The date and location of the proposed US-North Korea summit are yet to be decided.

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South and North Korea remain technically at war, as the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.