Korean Leaders to Hold Summit Next Month in Pyongyang

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the inter Korean summit in April

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the inter Korean summit in April

Last week, Seoul's customs office announced that three South Korean firms imported North Korean coal and pig iron from Russian Federation on seven occasions between April and October a year ago in an apparent violation of the United Nations sanctions resolution.

The announcement was made Monday after the two sides held high-level talks in Panmunjom, the truce village in the border zone that separates the autocratic North from the democratic South.

Kim and Moon previously met in April and agreed to have another summit in autumn, this time in the North's capital, Pyongyang.

They agreed to hold the third inter-Korean summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang in September, when the leaders are expected to discuss ways to end the Korean War within the year.

By contrast, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seemed to come away empty-handed from a trip to Pyongyang following the June Singapore summit between President Trump and Kim, with North Korea blaming his "gangster-like mind-set".

"It would be hard in early September, which means until September 10", Moon's spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters, citing a "reason all reporters can guess".

The two sides however failed to fix the date.

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"For South Korea, President Moon wants to improve inter-Korean ties but that's hard without progress in US-North Korea talks", he told AFP.

Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland who led the delegation from the DPRK, told reporters after the talks that detailed schedule for the summit was already agreed upon.

However, again without giving details, he said it was important to clear "obstacles" that prevent inter-Korean relations from moving forward as planned.

Cho addressed the possibility of Pyongyang raising the issue of sanctions to the South, and said: "We will explain our position to the North".

Last week, North Korea's Foreign Ministry also criticized "high-level officials" within the U.S. administration for insisting that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons before sanctions are eased, and for making "desperate attempts at intensifying the global sanctions and pressure".

All civilian communication between the two countries - which remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty - is banned unless approved by the governments. Find us on Facebook too!

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