Two Koreas to hold summit

Leaders are to meet for only the second time since the Korean War ended in 1953.

    Roh Moo-hyun, centre, will meet Kim
    Jong-il at the end of the month [Reuters]
    It spurred economic joint projects and reunions of families split by their shared border – the world's most heavily fortified.
     
    It also earned Kim the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to engage the North through his so-called sunshine policy.
     
    'Peace era'
     
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    South Korea's presidential office said in a statement the second inter-Korean summit "will contribute to substantially opening the era of peace and prosperity between the two Koreas".
     
    Baek Jong-Chun, the South Korean national security adviser, said: "The position of our government was that we wanted to connect and develop the progress of the six-way talks and North-South relations in a positive way and this summit is a natural result which is part of that positive progress."
     
    Pyongyang in a statement also confirmed that intelligence chiefs from both countries had signed an agreement on the summit on Sunday.
     
    "The meeting between the top leaders of the North and the South will be of weighty significance in opening a new phase of peace on the Korean peninsula," North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency quoted from the statement.
     
    Denuclearisation deal
     
    Park Young-Ho, of the Korea Institute for National Unification, told Al Jazeera: "The North Korean authorities, I think, are taking into consideration the situation in South Korea."
     

    Officials from both sides will be meeting at the North Korean border city of Kaesong before that to make arrangements for the August 28-30 summit.

     

    Neighbouring Japan responded swiftly to the news.

     

    Yasuhisa Shiozaki, chief cabinet secretary, said: "We hope the summit would especially give a boost to the denuclearisation of the peninsula and the peace and stability in Northeast Asia."

     
    News of the summit follows this year's agreement by North Korea with the US and regional powers to move towards ending its nuclear weapons programme in return for massive aid.
     
    Last month North Korea shut down its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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