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Envoys to discuss inter-Korean summit, denuclearization

 President Moon Jae-in’s special envoys to North Korea will discuss the planned inter-Korean summit and seek ways to move denuclearization talks forward, the chief envoy said Tuesday.

National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong, who heads the five-man delegation set to leave Wednesday, said that the delegation would discuss the issues with high-level North Korean officials in Pyongyang.

Chung is to be accompanied by National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon, NIS deputy chief Kim Sang-gyun, Vice Minister of Unification Chun Hae-sung and Yun Kun-young, a Cheong Wa Dae official. The delegation was to set out for Pyongyang early Wednesday, and to return later in the day.

“(The envoys) will discuss ways to improve inter-Korean relations, and denuclearization talks,” Chung said after a meeting with Moon and top security and foreign affairs officials.
National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong. Yonhap
National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong. Yonhap

He added that the dates and agenda for the inter-Korean summit the two sides agreed to hold in Pyongyang in September would also be discussed.

“(Ways to) execute the Panmunjom Declaration to improve inter-Korean relations will be discussed, so that a more concrete agreement can be achieved at the September summit.”

Chung added that Seoul considers peace on the peninsula to be possible only through complete denuclearization of North Korea.

“Improvements in inter-Korean relations must be coupled with denuclearization. Improving relations is a driving force that facilitates denuclearization,” Chung said, echoing Moon’s Aug. 15 Liberation Day speech.

“The government considers declaring an end to the Korean War as a very important step in pushing for lasting peace on the peninsula, and will continue to work for the target of making the declaration within the year.”

Regarding the joint liaison office in the North Korean city of Kaesong, Chung said all preparations have been made, and the two sides are now discussing plans for the opening ceremony.

Moon’s top security adviser also revealed that the envoys would be delivering a letter from Moon to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Whether the envoys will meet with Kim has not been decided, Chung said. Asked whether members of the delegation would visit Washington and Tokyo after their return, Chung said the matter would be decided at a later date. Seoul had dispatched Chung and Suh to Japan, the US and other concerned nations after their first trip to Pyongyang as Moon’s special envoys in March.