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Working-level talks underway to prep inter-Korean summit

Working-level talks between officials from South and North Korea are underway at the border village of Panmunjom on Friday to hammer out details of an inter-Korean summit planned for next week.
Panmumjom (Ock Hyun-ju/The Korea Herald)
Panmumjom (Ock Hyun-ju/The Korea Herald)

The preparatory meeting comes four days before South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to sit down for their third meeting in Pyongyang from Tuesday to Thursday.

At Friday’s meeting, officials are expected to discuss the size and list of South Korea’s delegation to Pyongyang, logistics and events to be held during the summit.

The two sides agreed to keep the total number of South Korean visitors to up to 200.

High-profile politicians and businessmen are expected to accompany Moon to Pyongyang. Among them are Lee Hae-chan, head of the ruling Democratic Party and former prime minister, and Lee Jae-yong, de facto head of Samsung Group, the country’s largest business conglomerate.

Moon and Kim’s third meeting comes as Moon plays the role of mediator to help the US and North Korea find middle ground amid stalled denuclearization talks.

At the summit, the leaders are expected to discuss denuclearization, as well as ways to follow through on the Panmunjom Declaration signed during the first inter-Korean summit on April 27 to expand inter-Korean cooperation.

Moon and Kim held their first summit in Panmunjom on April 27 and met for the second time on May 26.

For Friday's meeting, Kim Sang-gyun, a National Intelligence Service senior official who visited Pyongyang on Sept. 5, led the South Korean delegation to the working-level talks. The delegation also included Yun Kun-young, a senior official from the presidential office; Kwun Hyuk-ki, a Cheong Wa Dae official in charge of the presidential press center; and Choi Byeong-il, an official from the presidential secret service.

The South Korean delegation left for Panmunjom at around 7:46 a.m.

By Ock Hyun-ju (