Xi to Visit N.Korea in June

EPA-EFE  JEON HEON-KYUN

EPA-EFE JEON HEON-KYUN

"Given the historical importance of the upcoming summits [inter-Korean Summit and the DPRK-U.S. Summit], the President of the Republic of Korea can not leave the country".

No peace treaty has been signed to replace the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, and the USA and North Korea have been at loggerheads since formal hostilities ceased.

Plans under discussion include a visit to Pyongyang in June soon after a proposed summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, the mass-circulation daily said. The peninsula remains technically at war with a heavily fortified border separating the two countries. "It is hard to expect the two leaders to sign the deal this time as they remain far apart on who and how to sign it", said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies.

Experts said it would be hard for the two sides to sign the peace treaty, given the differences of opinion on how to sign the deal.

The North initially reached out to South Korea when Kim said in his New Year's address that his country was willing to participate in the PyeongChang Winter Games and hold talks with Seoul to realize that.

Im told reporters that the inter-Korean meeting could be a "cautious starting point" for efforts aimed at the "complete denuclearization or establishment of permanent peace", while using such developments to achieve a dramatic improvement in North Korea's relations with the United States, South Korea and other nations in the region.

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Seoul has said the peace treaty should be signed by the two Koreas, guaranteed by the USA and China with support from Russian Federation and Japan, and later approved by the UN.

Not only the U.S. but China has been playing an active role in bringing North Korea back to the negotiating table for denuclearisation in addition to contributing to the success of the upcoming two summits.

The South Korean expert anticipated that the inter-Korean summit's major goal is to have Kim Jong-un personally confirm his country's readiness for denuclearization. On the occasion of and after the Games, the two Koreas exchanged their special envoys and finally agreed to hold the historic inter-Korean summit at the truce village of Panmunjeom on April 27th.

Seoul and Pyongyang are discussing the wording of a possible joint statement to be released at the summit on April 27, the official said.

Im revealed that a direct phone link between Moon and Kim will likely be set up on Friday.

The two Koreas will hold working-level talks on Wednesday to discuss details such as protocol and security before holding another high-level meeting to prepare for the summit.

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