The Republic of Korea (ROK)’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, left, shakes hands with his counterpart from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Ri Son-gwon during their meeting at the northern side of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, Aug 13, 2018. (KOREA POOL/YONHAP VIA AP)
SEOUL – The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed Monday to hold a third summit between the leaders of the two countries in Pyongyang in September.
The agreement was reached after the senior-level talks between the two sides at Tongilgak, a DPRK building in the border village of Panmunjom.
Before the Moon-Kim summit, the inter-Korean summit meetings were held only twice, in 2000 and 2007, in the capital city of the DPRK
According to a joint statement issued after the talks, the two Koreas agreed to hold the Moon-Kim summit in Pyongyang before the end of September.
The three-sentence statement however did not have details on the schedule.
Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland who led the delegation from the DPRK, told reporters after the talks that detailed schedule for the summit was already agreed upon.
Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon led the ROK side.
Asked about the result of the talks, Ri said the dialogue went on well, according to local joint press corps.
There had been speculations in local media that the two Koreas already agreed upon the date and venue for the third Moon-Kim summit as the two sides had working-level contacts before the high-level dialogue.
If Moon visits Pyongyang around the DPRK's National Day on Sept 9, it would be a dramatic event the day marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state.
The ROK presidential Blue House said the summit could be held in mid or late September.
"To add a little, I believe (holding the summit) in early September might be a little bit difficult," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters.
ROK President Moon Jae-in and DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un met in Panmunjom on April 27 for the first time, agreeing to hold another summit in Pyongyang in fall. They met again on May 26.
Before the Moon-Kim summit, the inter-Korean summit meetings had been held only twice – the first one in 2000 and the other in 2007, both in the DPRK capital, Pyongyang.
Following the first Moon-Kim summit, the two leaders signed the Panmunjom Declaration to improve inter-Korean relations and strengthen cooperation and exchange.
The two Koreas agreed to hold the reunion of Korean families separated across the heavily-armed border since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice. The Korean Peninsula remains technically in a state of war.
The reunion event is scheduled for Aug 20-26 in the DPRK's scenic resort of Mount Kumgang.
A series of working-level talks between the two Koreas were held to modernize and eventually connect the railways and roads across the inter-Korean border along the eastern and western corridors of the peninsula. Forestry cooperation between the two sides was also underway.
During the high-level talks, the two Koreas sincerely discussed issues to actively implement the April 27 agreement while reviewing the implementation to date, the joint statement said.
The high-level dialogue was the fourth of its kind to enforce the April 27 agreement.