North Korea: President Moon to meet Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang

Clay Curtis
August 15, 2018

Sanctions will remain in place until North Korea takes concrete and verifiable steps toward denuclearisation.

In this photo taken on August 2, 2017, South Korean soldiers stand before the North Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjom, within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea.

Kim Eui-keum, spokesman for South Korea's presidential Blue House, told reporters that "early September seems a bit hard".

Monday's high-level talks were proposed by the North last week as it lashed out at Washington for pushing ahead with sanctions.

This is Suh's second known attempt to enter North Korea.

Experts say there has been slow progress on those efforts since the Singapore summit.

Amid a lack of progress on denuclearization talks between the U.S. and North Korea, South and North Korea held high-level talks Monday.

The South Korean delegation for Monday's talks was led by Cho Myoung-gyon, who oversees Seoul's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean issues, and includes Nam Gwan-pyo, a Moon aide responsible for North Korean nuclear matters.

Afterward, he said a date had been fixed but not announced, "to keep reporters wondering".

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Analysts say Moon could try to act as a mediator between the United States and North Korea, having salvaged the Singapore meeting when Trump abruptly cancelled it. It also included agreements to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, halt hostile acts against each other and bolster cross-border exchanges.

Next month's planned meeting between the leaders of the rival Koreas continues a flurry of diplomatic overtures since President Moon accepted Kim's offer for North Korean athletes to participate in February's Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

"It's been more than 100 days since the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration was adopted, but no reasonable fruit or progress has been produced, " the website Uriminzokkiri wrote.

"We agreed to hold an inter-Korean summit within September in Pyongyang" the two Koreas said in a joint press statement issued after the meeting.

It's a hint. that in Monday's talks.

"As President Moon stated, "the improvement of relations between North and South Korea can not advance separately from resolving North Korea's nuclear program'".

Last week, North Korea's Foreign Ministry also criticized "high-level officials" within the USA administration for insisting that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons before sanctions are eased, and for making "desperate attempts at intensifying the global sanctions and pressure".

"It would be hard in early September, which means until September 10", Moon's spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters, citing a "reason all reporters can guess".

But the two sides appear to have hit an impasse.

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