WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Delegations from North and South Korea met on the northern side of the demilitarized zone to discuss upcoming talks between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
According to South Korean officials, the meeting is set for April 27th at a border village. It will be the third summit ever between the Koreas.
Seoul’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, one of the three South Koreans participants, told reporters before their talks that setting up discussions between the leaders on ways to rid the North of its nuclear weapons would be a critical point.
He said there could be several such preparatory meetings. The North’s three delegates were led by Ri Son Gwon, chairman of a state agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs.
The South’s delegation arrived in Panmunjom after their vehicles crossed the heavily guarded border near the southern city of Paju.
Greeting the South Korean officials at the North Korea-controlled Tongilgak building, Ri said that the past 80 days have been filled with “unprecedented historic events” between the rivals, referring to the Koreas resuming dialogue before the Winter Olympics in the South and the agreement on the summit.
He expressed hopes for an outcome that would meet the “hope and desire of the nation.”
Cho, in response, said officials in the preparatory talks should do their best to set up a successful summit as the “current situation was created by decisions from the highest leaders of the North and South.”
The talks follow a surprise meeting this week between Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping, which appeared to be aimed at improving both countries’ positions ahead of Kim’s planned meetings with Moon and President Donald Trump.