Moon, Kim discuss inter-Korea ties, DPRK-U.S. summit in Panmunjom

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-26 21:36:51|Editor: Xiang Bo
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South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un hold their second summit at the DPRK side of the border village of Panmunjom, on May 26, 2018. (Xinhua/Blue House)

SEOUL, May 26 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un held their second summit in Panmunjom on Saturday.

The South Korean presidential office said the two leaders met at the DPRK side of the border village of Panmunjom from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time.

The two leaders exchanged their opinions to implement the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration, and to have a successful DPRK-U.S. summit, according to the Blue House.

Photos and TV footage released by the Blue House showed that Suh Hoon, chief of the South Korean National Intelligence Service and Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea Central Committee and director of the United Front Department of the DPRK attended the meeting.

The two leaders hugged each other after their summit, the second within a month, according to a photo.

President Moon will announce results of the summit at 10:00 a.m. local time on Sunday, the Blue House said, without elaborating further.

Moon and Kim met on the South Korean side of Panmunjom on April 27, the third inter-Korean summit since 2000, agreeing to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and change of the current armistice agreement into a peace treaty.

The peninsula remains technically in a state of war as the 1950-1953 Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

The latest summit came after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that the United States could possibly reinstate a meeting with Kim which he cancelled a day earlier.

Trump sent a letter to the DPRK leader on Thursday, saying that their originally planned meeting in Singapore on June 12 would not happen due to "tremendous anger and open hostility" displayed in Pyongyang's recent statements.

DPRK's First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan responded then that his country was ready to sit down with the United States anytime in any manner for talks to solve the problems existing between them.

Expressing regret over the cancellation of the DPRK-U.S. summit, the South Korean government said it planned to continue diplomatic efforts to maintain a dialogue momentum between the DPRK and the United States.

According to the Blue House, at a National Security Council (NSC) meeting held on Friday, the NSC members shared a view that efforts to improve inter-Korean relations would contribute to enhanced relations between Pyongyang and Washington and complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

China said Friday that it hoped the DPRK and the United States would cherish the recent progress and continue to address mutual concerns via dialogue and push for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The April 27 summit between Moon and Kim is the culmination of rapprochement between Seoul and Pyongyang before and during the Winter Olympics that ran from February to March in South Korea's eastern county of Pyeongchang.

The DPRK and South Korean athletes marched together under a unified flag of the Korean Peninsula at the opening ceremony of the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics on Feb. 9.

Pyongyang also sent high-ranking delegations, cheerleaders and art troupes to South Korea, warming their relations and easing tension on the peninsula.

U.S. President Trump tweeted earlier this month that he will meet with Kim in Singapore on June 12, after the country released three detained U.S. citizens who had been taken back by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to Pyongyang.

As an important step toward complete denuclearization of the peninsula, the DPRK openly dismantled its nuclear test site in Punggye-ri in the northeastern part of the country Thursday.

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