More Talks Needed to Sort out Details of Cross-Border Summit

  • By Lee Min-seok, Kim Jin-myung

    September 07, 2018 09:55

    Officials from the two Koreas will meet in the truce village of Panmunjom early next week to finalize the details of their next summit on Sept. 18-20, Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday.

    President Moon Jae-in will probably fly directly to Pyongyang since North Korean roads and railways "are in terrible shape and an overland trip would take too long," a diplomatic source said.

    South Korean officials (left) talk with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang on Wednesday in this photo from [North] Korea Central News Agency on Thursday. /Yonhap

    Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un did not after all attend a lunch and dinner organized for five senior South Korean officials in Pyongyang on Wednesday, contrary to earlier announcements from Cheong Wa Dae. In fact no North Korean officials attended the dinner.

    According to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom, the South Koreans met Kim Kong-un from 10:30 a.m. until after 12 noon Wednesday but then had lunch with their approximate North Korean counterparts, including Kim Jong-un's right-hand man Kim Yong-chol and Ri Son-gwon, the chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, at the Koryo Hotel.

    They held more talks in the afternoon. "As their meeting was protracted, the North Korean side provided them with dinner, which they had alone," Kim Eui-kyeom said.

    But on Wednesday Cheong Wa Dae had announced that Kim Jong-un threw a dinner reception for the officials and concluded that things had gone better than expected.

    Apparently communication was rudimentary during their time in the North since they used a fax machine with a scrambler to report back but reception was poor.

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