FILE - In this June 1, 2018, file photo, South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, center, speaks to the media before leaving for the border village of Panmunjom to attend South and North Korean meeting, at the Office of the South Korea-North Korea Dialogue in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

Seoul: Rival Koreas to meet to prepare for leaders’ summit

Seoul said the rival Koreas agreed to high-level talks next Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, to prepare for a leaders’ summit.

The rival Koreas will meet Monday for high-level talks meant to prepare for a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, South Korea said, the third such meetings between the leaders in recent months.

The announcement Thursday by the South’s Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean issues for Seoul, comes amid attempts by Washington and Pyongyang to follow through on nuclear disarmament vows made at a summit in June between President Donald Trump and Kim.

Pyongyang has also stepped up its calls for a formal end to the Korean War, which some analysts believe is meant to be the first step in the North’s effort to eventually see all 28,500 U.S. troops leave the Korean Peninsula. Washington is pushing for the North to begin giving up its nuclear program.

A South Korean official at the Unification Ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of office rules, said the two Koreas will also discuss ways to push through tension-reducing agreements made during an earlier summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon. Among the agreements was holding another inter-Korean summit in the fall in Pyongyang.

The rival Koreas may try to seek a breakthrough amid what experts see as little progress on nuclear disarmaments between Pyongyang and Washington despite the Singapore summit in June and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s several visits to North Korea.

Related: Korean leaders pledge denuclearization in historic meeting

Related: Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

Pyongyang insisted that the U.S. should reciprocate to the North’s suspension of missile launches and nuclear tests and other goodwill gestures such as the return of remains of American troops killed in the Korean War. The United States has dismissed calls to ease sanctions until the North delivers on its commitments to fully denuclearize.

The inter-Korean meeting on Monday will be held at Tongilgak, a North Korean-controlled building in the border village of Panmunjom. It wasn’t clear who would attend the talks, but such meetings have typically been handled in the past by South Korea’s unification minister and his counterpart in the North. It also wasn’t clear when another summit might happen, but if the April 27 summit agreements are followed through, the leaders will likely meet in Pyongyang in the next couple of months.

In the meantime, both Koreas are seeking an early end of the Korean War. South Korea’s presidential spokesman said last month that Seoul wants an early declaration of the end of the 1950-53 war sooner than later. The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war because the fighting ended with a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

Earlier Thursday, North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary that ending the Korean War is “the first process for ensuring peace and security not only in the Korean peninsula but also in the region and the world.”

Seoul said it accepted the North’s proposal after Pyongyang first suggested a meeting Monday to discuss another summit.

Kim and Moon met in April at a highly publicized summit that saw the leaders hold hands and walk together across the border, and then again in a more informal summit in May, just weeks before Kim met Trump in Singapore.

Youkyung Lee, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fort St. James Fire Department responds to three blazes within a week

Two structure blazes and one wildland have fire chief cautioning residents

SD91 trustee election results are in

Several new faces have been elected to the position of school board trustee

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

5 tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween

BC Children’s Hospital has a few suggestions to keep Oct. 31 fun

B.C. man gets seven years in prison for baseball-bat attack on Kamloops teen

Kamloops man who beat Jessie Simpson into a coma has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He was originally charged with attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

Cougar spotted after Vancouver Island resident finds his decapitated cat

Reports of conservation officers actively looking for the predator in Port Hardy Tuesday afternoon

Time running out for TV debate on proportional representation

B.C. Liberal leader spars with Premier John Horgan over timing

New rules introduced to protect B.C. foreign workers from exploitation

More than 16,000 temporary permits issued last year

Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after concussion

Rookie is back practising after being sidelined by Florida defenceman Mike Matheson

Most Read