Koreas to discuss denuclearisation, ties at April 27 summit

Train believed carrying North Korean delegation leaves Beijing

Earlier in the month, Trump surprisingly accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, set to be a historic first between the two countries.

The Koreas will hold another preparatory meeting April 4 to discuss protocol, security and media coverage issues.

"South Korea has been wonderful, but we'll probably hold that deal up for a little while, see how it plays out", he said in a speech in Ohio. A row of six buildings - three North Korean, three United Nations - straddle the border and provide a venue for the two groups to peacefully meet.

North Korean media did not report that Kim and Xi discussed anything regarding North Korea's illegal nuclear weapons program or denuclearization, suggesting that North Korean citizens are unaware that Kim has promised to end the nation's nuclear weapons development to multiple nations.

Trump said of renegotiating the U.S.'s trade deal with South Korea: "I may hold it up until after a deal is made with North Korea...."

North Korea's Ri Son-Gwon (left) and South Korea's Cho Myoung-Gyon in Panmunjom, North Korea.

North and South Korea have had exactly two leader summits before this, in 2000 and 2007.

In response, Mr Cho said officials in the preparatory talks should do their best to set up a successful summit as the "current situation was created by decisions from the highest leaders of the North and South".

Amid that process, Kim sustained this week in China his first visit overseas and dialogued with president Xi Jinping on the events in the península and issues of bilateral interest.

"Both sides agreed to prepare for (the summit) in a way that would allow honest and heartfelt discussions (between the leaders)".

Kim subdued those anxieties by reportedly assuring Xi that their meeting "will yield abundant fruits of DPRK-China friendship, and facilitate peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula". Kim also promised to suspend all nuclear and missile tests while talks were under way, the envoys said.

South Korean officials, nonetheless, applauded Kim for "reaffirming his commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", as relayed by other North Korean officials.

Against this backdrop, South Korea's presidential office said a Chinese official was heading to Seoul to brief President Moon about the summit this week between North Korea's and China's leaders. A column in Chosun Ilbo, a right-leaning South Korean newspaper, accused Kim of "the salami-slicing tactics of his father Kim Jong-il of eking out small tit-for-tat concessions to string the worldwide community along".

"North Korean negotiating posture has one core objective, which is regime survival, and having spent the last 25 years acquiring nuclear deterrent it is hard to believe that the North Koreans are prepared to give that up", he said.

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