News Analysis: Inter-Korean summit forecast to be breakthrough in denuke process

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-13 16:57:48|Editor: xuxin
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SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), was forecast to be a "breakthrough" in the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

High-level officials from the two Koreas held the fourth round of dialogue, which aims to implement the Panmunjom Declaration signed by Moon and Kim after their first summit in April, at the border village of Panmunjom Monday.

During the high-level talks, the two sides agreed to hold the third Moon-Kim summit in Pyongyang before the end of September. The first and second summits between Moon and Kim were held on April 27 and May 26, respectively, at the border village.

Before the Moon-Kim summit, the inter-Korean summit meetings had been held only twice in 2000 and 2007 each at the DPRK's capital city.

The third Moon-Kim summit would come amid the recent deadlock in the denuclearization talks between the DPRK and the United States, according to No Cut News, a daily newspaper run by local broadcaster CBS.

The newspaper said denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington have been in the standoff for about a month though dialogue mood was ripe with the inter-Korean summits and the historic DPRK-U.S. summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12.

The standoff came from disagreement between Pyongyang and Washington over how to denuclearize the peninsula, according to the newspaper.

The DPRK demanded the declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War as a first step to guarantee the DPRK regime, but the United States urged Pyongyang to take more actions for denuclearization before the war-ending declaration.

Kim and Trump agreed at the Singapore summit to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantee for the DPRK.

The DPRK demolished its main nuclear test site in May and launched the dismantlement of its missile engine test site recently, which Trump welcomed, according to media reports.

The No Cut News estimated that the DPRK may have proposed the senior-level talks with South Korea to find ways to "rekindle" the stalled denuclearization dialogue with Washington through talks with Seoul.

Choo Mi-ae, chairwoman of Moon's ruling Democratic Party, said before the high-level talks that dialogue between senior officials of the two Koreas was anticipated to find a "breakthrough" as they would discuss issues on the third Moon-Kim summit.

She said the talks came amid the standoff between Pyongyang and Washington over the denuclearization and the war-ending declaration, noting that the previous Moon-Kim summits led to the landmark DPRK-U.S. summit.

Yonhap news agency forecast that the third Moon-Kim summit can give a new impetus to negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington as South Korea can play a mediator role through the inter-Korean summit.

If the DPRK-U.S. negotiations gain speed after the Moon-Kim summit, it could lead to the war-ending declaration that can be made during the UN General Assembly scheduled for late September, Yonhap estimated.

The mood was amicable and friendly during the senior-level talks. Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland who led the DPRK delegation, said in his introductory remark that the DPRK and South Korea just became very close friends who cannot go against each other's will.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, a chief delegate of the South Korean delegation, told Ri that the two Koreas got to have the same heart as the two sides were in the same boat.

The two-hour high-level talks adopted a three-sentence joint statement. According to local media reports, the two sides had working-level contacts before the senior-level talks.