South Korean envoys meet North Korean leader

South Korean envoys meet North Korean leader

One day before President Moon Jae-in's special delegation heads to Pyongyang, North Korea reiterated demands for a formal end to the Korean War.

China could be keen to demonstrate the strong ties it has with Pyongyang to ensure it remains a key player in efforts to dismantle the North's nuclear program.

During their first trip to North Korea from March 5-6, the South Korean delegates met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Earlier on Tuesday, Chung Eui-yong, chief of the national security office at Seoul's presidential Blue House, said he would deliver a letter from Moon to Kim when he visits the North, without elaborating on its contents.

The two past inter-Korean summits in April and May removed war fears and initiated a global diplomatic push that culminated with the meeting between Kim and Trump in June. The U.N. General Assembly in late September would be an ideal date for Seoul, but many analysts see that possibility as low, considering the complications of the process and how far apart the parties now are.

US officials maintain that such a declaration can not come before the North takes more concrete steps toward relinquishing its nukes in a verifiable way.

Chung said he wanted to discuss with Pyongyang officials ways to achieve the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

Once a peace declaration is made, Washington and Seoul could struggle to find other points of leverage.

A veteran North Korean official who was sanctioned for his suspected role in development of the country's nuclear and missile technology has died, the North announced on Tuesday (Sept 4). Washington is unlikely to provide sanctions relief, diplomatic recognition or the reduction of US forces in South Korea unless North Korea takes major steps on denuclearization.

Moon is also running out of goodwill gestures toward North Korea, which has expressed frustration about the slow pace in cooperative projects with the South that it hopes will bring it economic benefits.

But in a recent speech, Moon seemed to argue that inter-Korean activities should take the lead.

Trump expressed his honest wish that the upcoming inter-Korean summit would bear a good result to enhance ties between the two Koreas, implement the agreements reached at the June 12 DPRK-U.S. summit in Singapore, and help future dialogues.

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