Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

North and South Korea agreed to hold a summit in Pyongyang in September, the latest step forward in cross-border ties this year after more high-level talks on Monday (Aug 13), the South's Unification Ministry said.

Amid a lack of progress on denuclearization talks between the USA and North Korea, South and North Korea held high-level talks Monday.

Seoul. he two Koreas opened high-level talks Monday to prepare for a third summit between the South's President Moon Jae-in and the North's leader Kim Jong Un, amid the diplomatic thaw on the peninsula, reported AFP.

The meeting comes amid a growing standoff on North Korean denuclearization that has followed Kim's summit with President Donald Trump in June in Singapore.

Pyongyang has urged Washington to ease the economic punishments, but the United States says that can not happen until the North completely denuclearises.

The agreement between the two countries' unification ministers comes amid an ongoing nuclear stand-off between Washington and Pyongyang.

"The firms appear to have illicitly brought it in expecting big trading margins after prices of North Korean coal had dropped due to the import ban", Roh Suk-hwan, deputy commissioner of the Korea Customs Service, told a news conference.

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"We hope that the timing, venue and the size of the delegation that will visit North Korea will be decided", Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said, declining to comment on specifics. It would be good for them to meet again, but the planned meeting should not be talks for the sake of talks.

With the United States not loosening sanctions against the North, the Pyongyang government needs momentum to push its demand that the U.S. offer a security guarantee in the form of a declaration of a formal end to the Korean War.

Although Trump touted his summit with Kim as a historic breakthrough, the nuclear-armed North has since criticised Washington for its "gangster-like" demands of complete, verifiable and irreversible disarmament.

The meeting would be the third between Moon and Kim this year, and the first trip by a South Korean leader to the North Korean capital since 2007.

Experts say there has been slow progress on those efforts since the Singapore summit.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has pressed other countries to continue enforcing sanctions against Kim's regime while seeking a concrete time frame for Kim to abandon his nuclear weapons.

The North has maintained that denuclearization is a matter to be discussed mainly with the US, not South Korea.

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