SEOUL, April 26 (Xinhua) -- The third inter-Korean summit is scheduled for Friday at the border village of Panmunjom, where South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), are to hold a historic meeting.
It would mark the first time that leaders of the two Koreas meet at Panmunjom, a symbol of the Korean Peninsula's division as the Korean Armistice Agreement, which paused the 1950-53 Korean War, was signed in the truce village.
The Peace House, a building in the South Korean side of Panmunjom, is a venue for the Moon-Kim summit. Kim would be the first DPRK leader to step onto the South Korean soil since the war ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.
The first and second inter-Korean summits were held in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007, respectively, under then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and his successor Roh Moo-hyun, for whom President Moon led preparations for the second summit in the capacity of Roh's chief of staff at the time.
For the first summit, Kim flew to the Pyongyang airport, in which he was greeted by then DPRK leader Kim Jong Il, the father of the current leader. It was a historic moment when the leaders started a meeting by tightly grabbing hands and broadly smiling toward each other.
The meeting itself had a historic meaning as it was the first-ever summit between the divided Koreas, which focused mainly on reunification, reunion of separated families and inter-Korean cooperation and exchanges. The agreement to the issues was written in the joint declaration, signed by the two leaders.
Amid the ongoing detente period, Roh went by car to Pyongyang in October 2007 to meet Kim Jong Il for the second summit. Right before crossing the heavily guarded border, Roh got out of car and walked over the border to mark a symbolic moment between the two Koreas.
After the three-day meeting, Roh and Kim inked the Oct. 4 joint declaration in which the two leaders agreed to an expanded economic cooperation and socio-cultural exchanges. In particular, Roh and Kim agreed for the first time to pursue a formal end to the Korean War through a summit of three or four parties directly concerned.
The Blue House of South Korea said last week that it was reviewing ways to turn the armistice into a peace regime at the Moon-Kim summit.
Denuclearization, which has never been discussed at the prior inter-Korean summits, is forecast to be on the main agenda at the third summit. The issue had been mainly negotiated for among six parties, not between the rival Koreas.
President Moon said last week that it would not be much difficult to reach an agreement with Kim, in principle, on the denuclearization, the peace regime and the normalized relations between Pyongyang and Washington through the inter-Korean and DPRK-U.S. summits.
Moon and Kim installed a hotline of direct dialogue between their offices in Seoul and Pyongyang last week. It was the first time that leaders of the two Koreas set up such a direct communications channel.
Aside from summit meetings, South Korea and the DPRK have held some 660 talks in total since the division of the Korean Peninsula, according to the Blue House preparation committee for the third summit.
The first-ever inter-Korean talks -- a preparatory contact between the Red Crosses -- were held at the border village of Panmunjom in August 1971. Panmunjom was the most-used venue in which more than half of the total dialogues between the two Koreas took place.
During the rapprochement period between the first and second summits, a number of inter-Korean talks were held between prime ministers, defense ministers and high-level officials from the two sides.