SEOUL – South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in will fly to Pyongyang for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next week, his spokesperson said on Friday.
Representatives of the two countries took the decision during a meeting held on Friday in the border village of Panmunjom to finalize protocol and security details of the summit, according to a presidential spokesperson.
Moon will land at the Sunan airport in Pyongyang for his summit with Kim Jong-un, as was done by former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung in 2000 to attend the first inter-Korean summit in history, also held in the North Korean capital.
Kim Dae-jung’s successor, Roh Moon-hyon crossed the border to later head to Pyongyang in car, where the second inter-Korean summit was held in 2007.
An advance party of South Korean delegates will be doing the same on Sunday, crossing the border that divides the two countries to later head to Pyongyang to finalize the preparations for the event.
Both sides have decided to keep the total number of visitors below 200, the presidential spokesperson said.
It is understood that top officials from the ruling Democratic Party such as Lee Hae-chan, the newly elected chief of the Democratic Party, and business magnates including Lee Jae-yong, de facto head of Samsung Group, will be included in the entourage accompanying Moon to Pyongyang.
The third summit to be held between Moon and Kim Jong-un this year is expected to allow the resumption of dialog between the North Korean regime and Washington on the denuclearization of the peninsula.
North Korea has been demanding to speed up the signing of a peace treaty that would formally end the state of war on the peninsula, in exchange for taking concrete steps to dismantle its weapons as demanded by the White House.
Washington has said that it needs more guarantees – that Pyongyang allows, for example, the entry of inspectors and reveals its weapons inventories – before drawing up an outline of the peace treaty and lifting sanctions on the regime.