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South Korea, DPRK select date for Kim and Moon meeting

South Korea, DPRK select date for Kim and Moon meeting

All parties are expected to discuss the denuclearization of North Korea.

South Korean experts are also concerned that Pyongyang might request a ban on the deployment to the Korean Peninsula of US bombers with nuclear weapons as a condition for denuclearization.

Kim is also set to hold a summit meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump sometime before the end of May. Kim's father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il, met with South Korean Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun in 2000 and 2007, respectively, in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

A photo of the North Korean leader posing with five members of the South Korean delegation was splashed across the front page of the Rodong Shinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party.

The leaders of North and South Korea will hold high-level discussions next month ahead of Kim's meeting with President Trump; announcing the rare global summit as both nations aim to soothe tensions after years of heated rhetoric and massive war games.

Ban, who served as Seoul's top diplomat before assuming the top United Nations post, expressed concern that the liberal Moon may take a "soft" approach on the nuclear issue in consideration of "delicate" ties between the two Koreas still in a state of an armistice. By reintroducing China, which is North Korea's only major ally, as a major player, the North also gains leverage against South Korea and the United States, analysts say.

During a speech in Richfield, Ohio, Trump touted the renegotiation of the KORUS trade deal between the US and South Korea as a major boost for the US.

The Koreas will hold another preparatory meeting April 4 to discuss protocol, security and media coverage issues.

"We believe Kim's visit will help the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, ensure peace and security and solve problems regarding the Korean Peninsula through political negotiations and discussions", he said.

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The two-day trip by Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi follows talks earlier this week between Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping.

North and South Korea will be meeting for the first time in 11 years.

It appears Trump believes holding up what he considers a "wonderful deal" for the U.S. until later in the North Korea negotiations will help keep pressure on South Korea to facilitate the talks.

They also argue that this is a message directed at China not to use its meeting with Kim Jong-un as an opportunity to retreat from sanctions on North Korea.

Kim agreed early this month to a meeting with Moon, part of a flurry of diplomacy regarding North Korea's nuclear program that began with the North's participation last month in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Mr. Trump's maneuvers against South Korea have hardened his image as a leader who is ready to threaten or sideline allies in order to push his agenda'.

About 70 South Korean officials and technicians flew to Pyongyang on Thursday to set up the performance equipment.

After the meeting, Ri hailed the agreement on the summit, which he said provides "immense expectations and new hope for the entire nation that desires peace on the Korean Peninsula". The South Korean artists performing in the North include some of the country's most popular pop singers, including Cho Yong-pil, who performed in Pyongyang during a previous era of detente, and girl band Red Velvet.

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