South Korea says officials may visit North Korea ahead of summit

South Koreans may visit North again ahead of first summit in decade

South Korea says officials may visit North Korea ahead of summit

The North is using its Beijing embassy to arrange Xi's itinerary with the worldwide department of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, quoting Chinese and North Korean sources.

In pictures released by state media from a ballet performance late on Monday, Kim and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, were seen applauding, posing with dancers, and laughing with the head of the Chinese Communist Party's worldwide liaison department, Song Tao.

The South Korean presidential chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, said on Tuesday that discussions will focus on fundamental issues - denuclearizing North Korea, establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and improving inter-Korean ties.

Seoul and Pyongyang are discussing the wording of a possible joint statement to be released at the summit on April 27, the official said.

"A North Korea-U.S. summit is scheduled to be held after the South-North Korea summit".

North Korean guards standing face-to-face at the Joint Security Area, a small strip of land in the truce village of Panmunjom
South Korea says officials may visit North Korea ahead of summit

The news outlet added that China will make a final decision after observing the results of the planned US-North summit.

But in late March, Kim made a visit to Beijing, his first known journey overseas since he took power in 2011.

Kim Jong Un hobnobbed with a visiting Chinese ballet troupe as he capped a weekend of celebrations in the North Korean capital that conspicuously lacked a show of military might that marked many previous festivals.

"China cannot stop imposing sanctions against North Korea due to the UN Security Council's resolution on sanctions against the country, but China can still offer assistance to North Korea in sectors irrelevant of the sanctions", an official was quoted as saying. With the test of that long-range missile in November, the North said it had "realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force". "Astana looks forward to serious outcomes of the forthcoming inter-Korean Summit and hopes the top-level meeting will become a breakthrough in relations between the two countries and help ease tensions in the Korean peninsula".

Moon is set to meet the reclusive North Korean leader next Friday for what would be a third inter-Korean summit.

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