The two Koreas are set to hold high-level talks this week to arrange key agenda items for next week’s summit amid keen attention over whether the historic meeting could set the stage for the North’s denuclearization, Yonhap reported.
Officials from both sides will discuss themes for the 27 April summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The government has said that the main agenda items for the summit will likely be North Korea’s denuclearization and ways to set up a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula and an improvement in inter-Korean ties.
Earlier, at the high-level talks held on 29 March, South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon had said that the April summit would be the start of a great journey to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, bring peace to the peninsula and develop inter-Korean ties.
Top priority will be placed on how to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear programs.
North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006, including the most powerful one in September 2017. The repressive regime has also fired three intercontinental ballistic missiles, which experts say could reach the US mainland.
Pyongyang reportedly suggested a need for phased and synchronous measures for denuclearization, but the US is calling for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program in a complete, irreversible and verifiable manner.
Experts said that at the summit, the Koreas need to agree on ways to ease military tensions.
Possible areas for discussions include holding military talks on a regular basis and reducing military tensions at the border.
South and North Korea remain technically at war as the Korean War ended in a truce, not in a peace treaty.
Meanwhile, the government said that ahead of the summit, it is exploring ways to improve ties in a sustainable manner and under international sanctions.