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Kim, Moon summit would be the third between divided Koreas

The current thaw in relations came with North Korean participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea’s Pyeongchang.

world Updated: Mar 30, 2018 12:48 IST
Associated Press, Seoul (South Korea)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet at a border village on April 27.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet at a border village on April 27. (AP/File photo)

The summit on April 27 will only be the third time that leaders of the divided Koreas have met in the 65 years since the Korean War ended.

Both sides agreed on Thursday to the meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The previous summits were held over several years of rapprochement and were followed by a decade of tense and cold relations. A tentative thaw began earlier this year with North Korean participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea’s Pyeongchang.

A look at the inter-Korean summits:

Summit of 2000

The first inter-Korean summit took place between former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the late father of Kim Jong Un, and the liberal former president of South Korea, Kim Dae-jung. The three-day meeting in June, which began with a broadly smiling Kim Jong Il tightly grabbing the hands of Kim Dae-jung at the Pyongyang airport, led to an agreement between the Koreas on joint economic projects, which have since stalled. The countries also agreed to resume reunions of families divided between North and South. Kim Dae-jung won the Nobel Peace Prize later in 2000 for his rapprochement policies with the North.

Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung (left) and former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. (AP/File Photo)

Summit of 2007

The Koreas held their second summit in October 2007 between Kim Jong Il and Roh Moo-hyun, Kim Dae-jung’s liberal successor and the political mentor of current South Korean President Moon. Roh went to Pyongyang after crossing the Demilitarised Zone in a symbolic moment that grabbed international headlines. Kim and Roh agreed to pursue a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War and reached a set of cooperation projects. But most of the accords were shelved after Roh’s single five-year term ended months later and he was replaced by a conservative who took a harder line over the North’s nuclear ambitions.

Former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il . (AP/File Photo)

Summit of 2018

Moon, a liberal who took office last May, and Kim will meet at a border village on April 27. The meeting comes after North Korea sent athletes, musical performers and officials to February’s Winter Olympics, including Kim’s sister, who met with Moon to deliver her brother’s desire for a summit. On a subsequent visit to the United States, South Korean envoys brokered a potential meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump, who said he would meet the North Korean leader by May.