South Korea has reached an agreement with North Korea to have the leaders of both countries meet for a summit on April 27.
Officials said South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom.
The announcement came Thursday after high-level talks between the two sides in Panmunjom.
Panmunjom is a “truce village” that sits within a demilitarized area separating the two Koreas.
A statement released by the two countries said officials from North and South Korea plan to meet again on April 4 to discuss details for the summit.
The April 27 meeting will be the third summit ever held between leaders of the two Koreas since the 1950-53 Korean War. One of the summits happened in 2000, the other in 2007.
In 1945, the Korean Peninsula was divided into a U.S.-dominated south and Soviet Union-backed north. North Korea and South Korea became independent nations in 1948.
South Korea’s Unification Minister told reporters Thursday that an important part of the summit will be setting up discussions between the leaders on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The minister said both sides would continue to hold working-level discussions centering on “issues surrounding the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the stabilization of peace and the development of relations between the South and North.”
The head of North Korea’s delegation said before Thursday’s talks that the past 80 days had been filled with "unprecedented historic events" between the two countries. He expressed hope that the summit would meet his nation’s desire for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The latest talks followed a surprise meeting this week in Beijing between Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Official Chinese news reports said Kim agreed in talks with Xi to discuss denuclearization.
Tension was high in the area last year after North Korea carried out repeated tests of nuclear weapons and missiles. But the tension decreased in recent months after the North halted the tests and took part in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Kim is also set to hold a summit meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump sometime before the end of May. The time and place for that meeting have not yet been announced.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
Bryan Lynn adapted this story from reports from the Associated Press, Reuters and VOA News. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
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Words in This Story
summit – n. an important meeting between leaders
truce – n. an agreement between enemies or opponents to stop fighting, arguing, etc., for a certain period of time
dominate - v. to have control of or power over (someone or something)
stabilization – n. being made steady or stopped from moving
unprecedented – adj. never having happened before