South Korean officials may visit North Korea before summit

Astana looks forward to outcomes of inter Korean Summit- MFA

Koreans from all four corners of the peninsula hope that Panmunjom - for so long a symbol of division - may become a symbol of peace as the regular meeting place for the leaders of the two Koreas. "We should improve the frozen inter-Korean relations", Kim said in the televised address, "and glorify this meaningful year as an eventful one, noteworthy in the history of the nation". It also wants to strengthen ties with the United States ahead of the country's planned meeting with the North. "But it is unclear whether this will be achieved at this summit".

At next week's summit meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the two neighbours may release a joint statement saying they will seek to ease military tension and to end confrontation, according to the report. Kim is to hold separate summit talks in coming weeks with the South Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump. The peninsula remains technically at war with a heavily fortified border separating the two countries. "Peace is as complicated as denuclearisation", said John Delury, an associate professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul.

Some of the issues that would need to be tackled include the hundreds of thousands of troops along one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world; submarines and ships patrolling on both coasts; South Korea's active military alliance with the United States; the hosting of United States forces; and North Korean artillery pointed at Seoul.

Seoul has said the peace treaty should be signed by the two Koreas, guaranteed by the U.S. and China with support from Russian Federation and Japan, and later approved by the UN.

"North Korea might have thought the US won't begin a dialogue if it had incomplete nuclear and missile capabilities".

Earlier Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Kazakhstan H.E. Kim Dae sik explained why President of the country Moon Jae-in had postponed his visit to Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan.

The South's presidential Blue House said on Tuesday that Seoul might send special envoys to North Korea if necessary to ensure the success of the highly anticipated summit.

Mr Im added that a direct hotline between the two leaders would be operational by Friday for possible trials before the summit.

The 2 sides plan to hold working-level talks on Wednesday about arrangements for security and proceedings of the summit.

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