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Kim Jong Un to meet South Korean president

30 March 2018

The announcement was made after officials met at the border village of Panmunjom.

The two sides will hold another preparatory meeting on April 4 to discuss protocol, security and media coverage issues. He said at his swearing-in ceremony in 2017 "for peace on the Korean Peninsula, I will do everything that I can do".

"We still have a fair number of issues to resolve on a working-level for preparations over the next month", said Ri Son Gwon, the chairman of North Korea's committee for the peaceful reunification of the country in closing remarks to the South Korean delegation. "This, as it is known to all, is what the Chinese side has insisted on and persistently worked for", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular press briefing, calling for all parties involved in the area to support inter-Korean talks "to promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the political settlement of the Peninsula issue".

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

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Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday that he received a message from Xi the previous night in which the Chinese president said his meeting with Kim went "very well" and that Kim was looking forward to meeting Trump.

The leaders will hold talks at the Peace House in the border village of Panmunjom, a joint statement said, according to the South's Yonhap news agency. Others see the meeting as a path to possible denuclearization.

He expressed hopes for an outcome that would meet the "hope and desire of the nation". Observers argue that the meeting elevates Kim's status as the legitimate leader of his nuclear-armed country and again makes China a major player in the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

It also comes ahead of a meeting between Kim and President Trump set to take place by the end of May.

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The South's delegation arrived in Panmunjom after their vehicles crossed the heavily guarded border near the southern city of Paju.

Greeting the South Korean officials at the North Korean-controlled Tongilgak building, Ri said the past 80 days have been filled with "unprecedented historic events" between the rivals, referring to the resumption of dialogue between the Koreas before the Winter Olympics in the South and the agreement to hold a summit.

The leaders of South and North Korea will meet on April 27 for the first inter-Korean summit since 2007, officials from both countries agreed Thursday in a high-level meeting. But it appears the North did not brief Seoul on that today. Earlier this week, of course, Kim Jong-un was in Beijing for a summit with the Chinese leader.

Pyongyang was hit with stiffer and stiffer sanctions as it continued testing its nuclear and ballistic missiles program.

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South Korean interlocutors who participated in the high-level dialogue Thursday included Unification Minister Cho, Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung and Yoon Young-chan, senior presidential secretary for public affairs.

Kim Jong Un to meet South Korean president