Moon, Kim may again display closeness for 3 days in Pyongyang:
The presidential plane carrying Moon and his entourage will take
off from Seoul Airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul, at 8:40 a.m. before
landing at the Pyongyang airport at 10 a.m. via the Yellow Sea direct
Watchers and government officials say Kim may
greet Moon at the airport, as his late father, Kim Jong-il, did in 2000
for then-South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who held the first-ever
inter-Korean summit in the North’s capital after flying over the same
Yellow Sea route.
“As the official welcome ceremony is scheduled to take place at
the Pyongyang airport, it is expected that Chairman (of the North’s
State Affairs Commission) Kim will personally greet President Moon
there,” said Im Jong-seok, Moon’s chief of staff, in a media briefing on
Following the welcome ceremony, Moon and his entourage
will have lunch before the leaders of the two Koreas hold their first
Im said he thinks Moon and Kim will immediately get down to
“direct and substantial” talks that include a private discussion and an
expanded summit instead of going through general summit formalities.
He didn’t reveal the summit venue, but watchers say the headquarters
of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, where Kim’s office is
located, is the most plausible location. Kim twice met with Moon’s
special envoys at the party headquarters this year.
After the first-day talks, a welcoming art performance and welcome dinner will be held.
Army: It Would Take 200 Years to Eliminate All Land Mines South of DMZ:
An Army official told reporters on Tuesday that the land mine area on
the southern side of the DMZ and within the Civilian Access Control Line
on both sides is about 40 times the size of Seoul’s Yeouido.
The official added even if all eleven engineering battalions of the
front-line division are deployed, it would take some 200 years to
complete the task of land mine elimination.
The official also emphasized the need to establish an entity within the
Army to handle the task, in preparation for the two Koreas’ joint
excavation of remains of soldiers killed during the Korean War and other
DMZ projects agreed on by their leaders in April.
Another Army official said drones should be utilized to ensure the
safety of such projects, while also highlighting the need for
specialized tanks and construction facilities equipped with bombproof
Blue House announces inter-Korean summit will go on as planned:
“We did have hopes for Secretary Pompeo’s North Korea visit, but
unfortunately it did not happen,” Blue House spokesperson Kim Eui-kyum
said that day.
“We got the sense that shifting the paradigm on Korean Peninsula issues is a tremendously difficult task,” he added.
The Blue House had been hoping that Pompeo’s visit – which would have
been his fourth – would help to break North Korea-US relations out of
their stalemate in the denuclearization negotiations and flesh out the
details of the inter-Korean summit in September.
President Moon Jae-in discussed countermeasures after hearing reports at
his Blue House residence that day on the cancellation of Pompeo’s visit
and the current situation between Pyongyang and Washington from Blue
House National Security Office director Chung Eui-yong, National
Intelligence Service director Suh Hoon, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang
Kyung-wha, and Minister of Unification Cho Myung-gyon.
But the Blue House said the cancellation of Pompeo’s visit would not
affect its preparations for the September inter-Korean summit.
With Secretary Pompeo cancelling his North Korea visit, it now appears
that President Moon Jae-in’s role has grown,” spokesperson Kim said.
“The objective situation is one in which President Moon now has a
greater role as catalyst and mediator in breaking through the impasse
and broadening the scope of understanding amid the strain in North
Korea-US relations,” he continued, adding that the inter-Korean summit
would “be pursued without setbacks.”