North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Monday invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to a summit in North Korea. In what amounts to an acceptance of the invitation, South Korean National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong said the two Koreas would hold a summit in April where Kim would meet Moon, The Korea Times reported.
North Korea also promised it would not use its nuclear or conventional weapons against the South, the official claimed. Chung said that Pyongyang was ready for denuclearisation if military threats to the country were removed and the safety of its regime guaranteed.
The decisions were taken when Kim met senior South Korean government officials on Monday in Pyongyang and said he intended to “vigorously advance” inter-Korean ties and pursue reunification of the two countries, Reuters reported. Korea was divided into separate southern and northern states after World War II.
Chung headed a 10-member delegation to Pyongyang, also in the hopes of encouraging North Korea and the United States to hold talks. The Korean Central News Agency said Kim “exchanged views” and “made a satisfactory agreement”, without elaborating.
“The two Koreas decided to hold the third inter-Korean summit at the Peace House in Panmunjeom at the end of April,” Chung said. The South Korean official said representatives from the two countries would meet to plan the summit. Chung added that the two Koreas had also agreed to set up a hotline between Moon and Kim, and they will have their first phone call after the summit.
Rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington DC has been belligerent after North Korea’s numerous nuclear tests, and US President Donald Trump announced fresh sanctions against the country on February 23. However, Chung said he believed the situation was now “ripe” for Washington-Pyongyang talks.