Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official told reporters that the two Koreas agree on the importance of such issues in relation to the US-North Korea summit and they are being discussed at the working level.
“Working-level discussions on issues such as again promising mutual nonaggression (between Pyongyang and Washington), and opening negotiations to replace the armistice with a peace treaty or a declaration of the end of war among South, North and the US are underway,” the official said.
|Visitors shake hands at a replica set of Panmunjeom. (Yonhap)|
The official stressed that the working-level talks are focused on analyzing the possibility of such developments, and that nothing has been decided on seeking a three-way summit among the three countries.
The official also stressed that US President Donald Trump has expressed willingness to offer large-scale economic cooperation with the North on a number of occasions. He added that the US leader has made a number of other related comments, but declined to elaborate.
Regarding the process of arranging Saturday’s inter-Korean summit, the official said that communication on the matter was conducted through a channel between the South’s National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon, and Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the central committee of North Korea’s Workers’ Party.
He said that the North suggested the meeting between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during discussions on improving inter-Korean relations and preparations for the North Korea-US summit on Friday.
The official also rejected speculation that Seoul-Washington communication may be faltering, stressing that the two sides are cooperating closely.
“As closes allies, (Seoul and Washington) share detailed information on inter-Korean issues, and ahead of the North Korea-US summit,” he said, adding that the national security councils of the two countries continue to communicate on an almost daily basis.
By Choi He-suk (email@example.com)