North, South Korea to hold summit in Pyongyang in September


The rival Koreas have agreed to hold a third summit between their leaders in Pyongyang sometime before the end of September.

The leaders of North and South Korea will hold a second summit in Pyongyang in September, according to the South Korean Unification Ministry.

While a cease-fire exists between the US and North Korea due to an armistice, the two governments never agreed to a permanent peace agreement after the Korean War.

Seoul. he two Koreas opened high-level talks Monday to prepare for a third summit between the South's President Moon Jae-in and the North's leader Kim Jong Un, amid the diplomatic thaw on the peninsula, reported AFP.

The agreement was reached after the high-level talks between the two sides at the border village of Panmunjom.

Moon and Kim also had a surprise meeting at the border in May, making Moon the only South Korean leader to have met a North Korean leader twice.

Since Kim met President Donald J. Trump in June, the two sides have failed to make much headway on eliminating North Korea's nuclear-weapons program.

"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".

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The North says they were abducted by the South and should be returned, and has raised the possibility of the issue creating an obstacle to the reunion of some families divided by the 1950-53 Korean War, planned for next week.

Pyongyang has urged Washington to ease the economic punishments, but the United States says that can not happen until the North completely denuclearises.

Last week, North Korea complained that some high-level USA officials were "going against the intention of President Trump" by sticking to "old scenarios" and taking a hard line on maintaining sanctions on the country.

The meeting between Seoul and Pyongyang comes as experts see slow progress on efforts to disarm North Korea since the Singapore summit.

Earlier, in April, North and South Korea agreed to sign a peace treaty formally later this year, ending the 65-year old war between the two countries.

A spokesman for South Korea's presidential Blue House said on Sunday officials hoped such details would be decided at Monday's talks.

Cho addressed the possibility of Pyongyang raising the issue of sanctions to the South, and said: "We will explain our position to the North".