North, South Korean Leaders to Meet in Pyongyang Next Month

South Korean and U.S. soldiers stand guard at the border village of Panmunjom between South and North Korea at the DMZ / Getty Images
• August 13, 2018 9:02 am


The leaders of North and South Korea are slated to meet again sometime in September in what will be another historic moment in relations between the two nations.

The rival nations announced Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will host South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the North Korean capital city of Pyongyang. The announcement, which came after nearly two hours of talks led by the rivals’ chiefs for inter-Korean affairs, did not reveal an exact date for the meeting, the Associated Press reports.

This will be the third meeting between the two leaders, the first of which occurred at the border city of Panmunjom in late April. The pair then had a follow-up meeting in May.

Issues that will be discussed include North Korea denuclearizing and international sanctions. Talks may also include potential economic cooperation between the two Koreas in the event sanctions are lifted.

North Korea is thought to have a growing arsenal of nuclear bombs and long-range missiles and to be closing in on the ability to reliably target anywhere on the U.S. mainland. A string of North Korean weapons tests last year, during which Pyongyang claimed to have completed its nuclear arsenal, had many in Asia worried that Washington and Pyongyang were on the brink of war.

Cho, the chief of the South Korean delegation, said the two sides also "talked a lot" about international sanctions meant to punish the North for its development of nuclear weapons, but he didn’t elaborate.

Seoul has been preparing for possible economic collaboration with Pyongyang that could go ahead when sanctions are lifted. Pyongyang has urged Washington to ease the economic punishments, but the United States says that can’t happen until the North completely denuclearizes.

The South Korean envoy said he urged Pyongyang to accelerate its current nuclear negotiations with the United States. The North said it was making efforts to disarm, but Cho said there were no new details on those efforts.

The North Korean delegate refused to disclose an exact date for the meeting in order to "keep reporters wondering." South Korea's Cho said the date was still a matter being negotiated.

Positive outcomes have materialized as a result of  relations between North Korea, South Korea and the United States, including North Korea handing over 55 boxes of human remains and artifacts believed to be of and belong to American military personnel killed in the Korean War.

The newly announced meeting follows a June 12 summit in Singapore where President Donald Trump met with Kim. Experts, according to the AP, have noted there has been slow progress on denuclearization efforts since the Singapore summit. The State Department has indicated progress toward the complete denuclearization of North Korea will take time.

"The conversations continue," spokeswomen Heather Nauert said last week. "We knew that this would be a road; we knew the road would certainly take some time, and we're in the middle of that process right now."