The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Thursday agreed to hold summit in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20.
Top DPRK leader Kim Jong-un reconfirmed his firm commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, ROK President Moon Jae-in's special envoy said Thursday in a press briefing after visiting Pyongyang the previous day.
Moon's envoys meet with Kim in Pyongyang, deliver letter
ROK President Moon Jae-in's special envoys met on Wednesday with Kim Jongun, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, on their one-day visit to Pyongyang, the presidential Blue House of the Republic of Korea said.
The five-member special delegation, led by Chung Eui-yong, Moon's top national security adviser, flew via the western air route over the inter-Korean sea border to the DPRK capital.
The delegation delivered Moon's letter to Kim, exchanging opinions on the Korean Peninsula situations, according to the Blue House.
The special emissaries were scheduled to return home later in the day after having dinner there.
The Blue House planned to hold a news conference on Thursday on the outcome of the visit.
Moon's special envoys went to Pyongyang to discuss with the DPRK side a detailed schedule and agenda for the third Moon-Kim summit, which the two neighbors have agreed to hold in Pyongyang before the end of this month.
The Korean Peninsula's denuclearization and the improved inter-Korean relations were also issues which Moon's special emissaries planned to discuss with the DPRK side, according to the Blue House.
The envoys were also greeted by Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK, according to Blue House press secretary Yoon Young-chan.
Wang Junsheng, a researcher from Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said there would be no future problems for the scheduled meeting between Moon and Kim.
"Both sides have the motivation to promote the process of the summit," he said, adding that the meeting on Wednesday was mainly for the envoys to go over details such as time and location.
Wang said the ROK's move will have a positive effect, but it cannot be overrated. "If the DPRK and the United States are not well prepared, it will be hard for the ROK to mediate."
The talk also came at a time when the US and the DPRK are at odds over whether denuclearization or a step toward the normalization of the DPRK's international status by declaring the end of the 1950-53 Korean War should come first.
"The divergence between Pyongyang and Washington exists from the very beginning," he said. "Also, they lack basic trust and the interactions between them were not very pleasant."
Wang said the DPRK insists that the establishment of a peace mechanism should come first, while the US sticks to the idea that denuclearization is the precondition for other moves. But he also said the two problems can be solved at the same time by establishing two working groups.
"The key to the future direction of the peninsula lies in the DPRK-US ties," he said.