South, North Korea leaders gear up for historic DMZ summit on Friday

April 26, 2018 10:13

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DUSHANBE, 26.04.2018 /NIAT “Khovar”/. The North and South Korean heads of state, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, will launch their historic meeting along the de-militarized zone (DMZ) on Friday morning, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The inter-Korean summit in Panmunjom, along the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas, will begin at around 9.30 a.m. local time (03.30 a.m. Moscow Time), South Korea’s Presidential Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok said.

The North Korean delegation at the summit will consist of nine high-ranking government officials, he said. “Apparently, the North did this as the meeting will mainly discuss denuclearization, ways of establishing a lasting peace and decreasing tensions,” Im Jong-seok stressed.

Kim will be accompanied by Kim Yong-nam, President of the Presidium of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly, and his younger sister Kim Yo Jong, Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department. Other delegation members will be Ri Myong Su, the Chief of General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, Defense Minister Pak Yong Sik, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

South Korea’s delegation will consist of seven officials, including Defense Minister Song Young-moo, the country’s top diplomat Kang Kyung-wha and Unification Minister Cho Myoung Gyon.

Some 3,000 journalists from all over the world will cover the event, the first one in more than a decade, according to the organizers.

Major events at the summit will be held on Friday. South Korean President Moon Jae-in will personally meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un near the DMZ and then the two heads of state will set off for talks in the inter-Korean Peace House.

Following the negotiations, the two leaders will hold a tree-planting ceremony symbolizing reconciliation and mending ties. The presidents will plant a pine tree born in 1953 when Seoul and Pyongyang signed an armistice ending the Korean War. A stone in front of the tree will carry the phrase, “Plant peace and prosperity.”

The presidents will also take part in a farewell ceremony during which they will watch a video showing images of the Korean Peninsula’s past, present and future that will be projected onto the Peace House.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Hua Chunying voiced hope on Thursday that the summit will usher in a new era of establishing a lasting peace between Pyongyang and Seoul.

April 26, 2018 10:13

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