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. "That is why the visit planned for the first half of 2018 had to be postponed", Ambassador Kim Dae sik told the press conference in Astana.
Minister Abdrakhmanov made the statement after the meeting with his South Korean colleague Kang Kyung-wha in Astana on April 17 and ahead of the historic summit between the Republic of Korea and the DPRK set to be held on April 27. With that in mind, the South has already started to renovate the Peace House at Panmunjom to greet North Korean delegates ahead of the inter-Korean summit, leading up to the meeting between the two leaders. Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader's younger sister, Choe Ryong-hae, vice chairman of the Workers' Party Central Committee, and Ri Su-yong, the vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party, also attended the performance. "The United States will insist on complete, irreversible and verifiable North Korea's abandonment of its nuclear program in rigid timeframe".
The recent thaw between Seoul and Pyongyang follows months of soaring tensions as the North conducted its most powerful nuclear test and launched more than 20 missiles - including two intermediate-range weapons that flew over Japan and another long-range missile that experts say puts the whole of the United States in striking distance. -North Korea summit to discuss issues arising from the talks.
The two Koreas have yet to sign a peace treaty to replace the 1953 armistice that ended combat operations in the Korean war, with the U.S. and North Korea still at loggerheads after the three-year conflict ended.
In what would amount to a stunning development, North and South Korea are in discussions to announce at next week's leaders' summit an official end to the military conflict between the two neighbors, which remain technically at war, the South's Munhwa Ilbo daily reported Monday, citing an unidentified "key" South Korean official.
Mr Moon hopes that his summit with Mr Kim can lay the foundation for a deal on denuclearisation between Washington and Pyongyang at the following summit between Mr Kim and USA president Donald Trump in May or early June. The two Koreas may also discuss pulling some of their forces away from the heavily fortified demilitarized zone separating them, the newspaper said.