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North Korea media’s failure to report summit date, venue not meaningful: ministry

Update: March, 30/2018 - 10:25

SEOUL — South Korea’s unification ministry said on Friday it does not attach any meaning to North Korean state media reports that did not mention the date and venue for an inter-Korean summit in April.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Thursday that the two Koreas agreed to hold a summit of their leaders after holding high-level talks, but it did not mention that the meeting will be held at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27.

Previously, North Korea’s state media reported details of the two inter-Korean summits, held in 2000 and 2007 in Pyongyang.

"State media reports without summit details do not appear to have significance. The move may be related to North Korea’s (practice of not revealing Kim Jong-un’s) movement routes or other internal issues," Lee Eugene, vice spokesperson at Seoul’s unification ministry, told a press briefing.

The meeting between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim will be the first summit between the two Koreas in more than a decade. A North Korean ruler will cross the tense border for the first time to the South.

Long-term N. Korea progress to face complications: U.N. political chief

With the apparent thaw in relations on the Korean Peninsula, developments seem promising in the short term but there are more complicated challenges ahead, the outgoing UN political chief said on Thursday.

"The fact that we’re talking about summits now...may be unusual, but (North Korea) has suspended the type of tests that could have advanced the nuclear and missile program," Jeffrey Feltman told reporters. "So I look at this as something that is, in the short term, inherently good."

The UN undersecretary general of political affairs made the comments on the heels of the first meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, a development which Feltman said was encouraging.

"That’s not the same as denuclearization, but it means that instead of having tensions continue to rise...we have a scenario by which various parties are talking about getting together, at various levels, to see if there’s a way forward that would be consistent with the Security Council resolutions," he noted.— YONHAP/KYODO


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