South Korean envoys meet North Korean leader

Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images FILE

The South Korean leader chose to send his five-member special delegation to Pyongyang on Wednesday. The others are key officials in charge of inter-Korean affairs: the National Intelligence Service chief ( ) Suh Hoon, vice minister of unification Chun Hae-Sung; NIS deputy chief Kim Sang-gyun, and Yun Kun-young, the presidential secretary for state affairs.

It will be Chung's second trip to North Korea in less than six months as he headed the same five-member delegation to Pyongyang in early March.

South Korean officials said an end-of-war declaration would be among the issues discussed in the meetings between the South Korean envoys and North Korean officials.

"The delegation will set off for North Korea on the fifth via the direct route on the western side of the Peninsula, and they'll return to the South the same day".

An authoritarian nation obsessed with big milestones, North Korea will use the celebration for the 70th anniversary of its national founding to glorify Kim Jong Un as a leader who's standing up for a powerful nation surrounded by enemies.

Their meeting with Kim was what later led to Moon's first-ever summit with Kim, held in the border village of Panmunjom on April 27.




Moon and Kim have since agreed to hold a third summit in Pyongyang at an unspecified date in September.

The visit by the South Korean officials also comes amid an apparent impasse in the denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea.

North Korea wrote to Pompeo last month, warning that the peace process was faltering and telling him not to come to Pyongyang unless he was willing to bring further concessions, officials have said.

North Korea is said to have demanded a timely quid pro quo for its denuclearization efforts while the US has repeatedly vowed to maintain maximum sanctions on the impoverished North until it completely denuclearizes.

"President Moon stressed the fact that [they] are at a very important juncture in establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula and that such efforts will move together with complete denuclearization", Seoul's presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom stated in comments carried by Yonhap News Agency after the phone talks.

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