Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Two Koreas agree to hold September summit in Pyongyang: ministry

Two Koreas agree to hold September summit in Pyongyang: ministry

He earlier told the South Korean delegation in opening remarks that the Koreas were like very close friends with an unbreakable bond.

But Harry Harris, the USA ambassador to South Korea, said Monday it was too soon for such a declaration, Yonhap reported.

But across the region, there have been signs that U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign for "maximum pressure" lost steam after Pyongyang sought to improve relations with Washington, Seoul and Beijing.

But an obsession with declaring an end to the war - without any substantial progress in denuclearization - could jeopardize the entire peace process, as the North has not yet taken any substantial denuclearization action, like providing the inventory of its nuclear and missile arsenal.

"We will review overall progress on carrying out the Panmunjom Declaration and discuss next steps", Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, who is leading the South's delegation, told reporters ahead of the meeting.

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

They first met in April in Panmunjom, a remarkable thaw in ties after more than a year of rising tension and fears of war over the North's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. "It is because of America's sanctions and the South's unfair participation in them".

"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, reports news agency Yonhap.

But if that suggested differing priorities, the opening statements as the talks got underway Monday were all about friendship and rapprochement.

However, again without giving details, he said it was important to clear "obstacles" that prevent inter-Korean relations from moving forward as planned. "That we are meeting to exchange talks in such a friendly mood like right now, signifies that the communication is working".

The two sides however failed to fix the date.

Meanwhile the United States has urged the worldwide community to maintain tough sanctions on the isolated regime - Seoul has caught three South Korean firms importing coal and iron from the North previous year in violation of the measures.

"It's business as usual", the official said, showing Kim may be going against the promises he made in recent months.

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