The two Koreas are likely to hold additional working-level talks this week, Seoul’s Ministry of Unification said Monday, ahead of an inter-Korean summit scheduled for April 27.
The two sides held talks on measures, protocols, and media coverage for the summit on Thursday and a separate meeting for the establishment of a Seoul-Pyongyang hotline on Saturday.
A South Korean high-level delegation led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon crosses the military demarcation line in the truce village of Panmunjeom on March 29. (Yonhap)
“There are areas that require more discussions when it comes to communications and other issues, including security and protocol,” Baik Tae-hyun, ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing.
If held, the planned working-level talks are expected to fall before April 18, which is the date proposed by both sides for the second high-level meeting in preparation for the summit. But a Unification Ministry official told reporters last month during a closed-door briefing that the date for the next high-level meeting had yet to be set.
The first high-level talks for the summit was held on March 29.
On whether all working-level talks for the summit will be finalized this week, Baik said the Unification Ministry currently has no information on the matter.
The results of last week’s talks remain classified, with Cheong Wa Dae saying it will be revealed when all details are finalized, citing security issues.
The inter-Korean summit and the hotline were agreed upon between the two Koreas when President Moon Jae-in’s special envoys visited Pyongyang last month and held talks with the North’s leader Kim Jong-un.
Kim also expressed willingness to talk about the issues of denuclearization with US President Donald Trump through the envoys. Trump in response said he would meet the North Korean leader by the end of May.
The upcoming inter-Korean summit is set to be held on the South Korean side of the border village of Panmunjeom later this month. It will mark the third of its kind following the first in 2000 and the second in 2007.
Key agenda items for the summit are expected to be denuclearization of North Korea, establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, and improvement of South-North ties.
The two Koreas remain technically at war, as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
By Jung Min-kyung (email@example.com