South Korean officials may visit North Korea before summit

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When South Korean special envoys visited North Korea's capital last month, Kim agreed to meet Moon Jae-in in the Koreas' third-ever leaders' summit and expressed his willingness to hold "candid" talks with the United States about "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

At next week's summit between South Korea President Moon Jae-in and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, the two neighbors may release a joint statement saying they will seek to ease military tension and to end confrontation, according to the report.

The two Koreas have yet to sign a peace treaty to replace the 1953 armistice that ended combat operations in the Korean war, with the USA and North Korea still at loggerheads after the three-year conflict ended.

"Not long ago, President Xi said he is willing to maintain regular contact with Chairman Kim Jong-Un through visits, special envoys and the exchange of letters", said spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

He was giving a lecture at the Mulmangcho Foundation, an organization aimed at helping North Korean defectors settle here, last Friday.

But while extracting concessions at each stage, the regime "can never abandon its nuclear weapons because it proclaims itself a nuclear state in its Constitution". "If it fails, Trump will have all the legal grounds to augment pressure on North Korea explaining it by the failure of diplomatic efforts", Rhee Sang Hyong added.

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A successful meeting between Moon and Kim could pave the way for the summit planned between Kim and US President Donald Trump - the first between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader.

It was also a rapprochement with Xi, the leader of North Korea's most important ally and economic lifeline, who disapproved of Kim's nuclear tests. But critics say the North is likely to take only partial steps toward disarmament while winning various concessions, and that tensions could then flare again.

Im noted that past agreements to denuclearize were not realized, partly due to lack of U.S. support or consent. -South Korean military exercises. The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea but denies any invasion plans.

Thae said if Seoul makes concessions to the North, like lifting some sanctions or reopening the joint-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex, it "should strongly demand improvement of human rights in return".

Seoul's unification minister has said the two leaders' agenda will cover three main areas: denuclearisation, establishing a permanent peace and improving inter-Korean relations.

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