Leaders of North, South Korea to hold summit
The leaders of the two Koreas will meet for the second time at a summit in late August, a repeat of the historic North-South reconciliation meeting between the two rival countries in 2000, the two countries announced.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong-il will host South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun in the North Korean capital of Pyongyangon Aug. 28-30,South Korean presidential security adviser Baek Jong-chun told reporters Wednesday.
"The second inter-Korean summit will contribute to substantially opening the era of peace and prosperity between the two Koreas," South Korea's presidential office said in a statement.
South Korean National Intelligence Service head Kim Man-bok said his counterpart in the North had remarked earlier this month that Kim Jong Il believed the timing was right for a second meeting because of the state of relations between the Koreas.
The leaders of North and South Korea last met in June 2000, when Kim warmly greeted then-South Korean president Kim Dae-jung on the tarmac in Pyongyang, immediately after the South Korean leader had landed.
While North Korea and South Korea remain technically locked in a diplomatic standoffsince the Korean War ended in a ceasefire in 1953, the three-day summit in 2000 opened up the possibility for renewed relations between the countries.
The two sides agreed at the time to open up the floodgates for social and economic co-operation, to ease cross-border tensions, and to begin steps towards reunifying families that were split by the shared border.
The South's Baek said the summit would help achieve progress in the nuclear standoff.But North Koreaviews the nuclear issue as a dispute to be resolved with the United States.
With files from the Associated Press