Archive for Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Leaders of North, South Korea to put on summit

August 8, 2007

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— North and South Korea announced today that their leaders will hold their second-ever summit this month, reprising the historic 2000 meeting that launched unprecedented reconciliation between the two longtime foes.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun will meet Aug. 28-30 in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, South Korean presidential security adviser Baek Jong-chun told reporters.

At the only other such North-South summit, Kim met then-South Korean President Kim Dae-jung in June 2000, also in Pyongyang.

North Korea also released a statement confirming an agreement on the summit signed Sunday between the heads of the two countries' intelligence agencies.

"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," the statement said, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

"The second inter-Korean summit will contribute to substantially opening the era of peace and prosperity between the two Koreas," South Korea's presidential office said in a statement.

The two Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, but the 2000 meeting led them to embark on economic cooperation projects and hold reunions of families split by their shared border - the world's most heavily fortified.

Kim Dae-jung won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to engage North Korea through his so-called sunshine policy.

However, the first summit's achievements were tainted by later revelations that the South Korean government made secret payments to foster the meeting.

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