S. Korea to launch new preparation committee for inter-Korean summit
SEOUL, South Korea will soon launch a committee to prepare for an upcoming summit with North Korea, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday, with President Moon Jae-in's chief of staff set to head the new preparation committee.
The committee, headed by presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok, will hold its first meeting Friday, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a press briefing.
President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to hold their first talks late next month.
The talks, if held, will mark the third inter-Korean summit. They would also mark the first time for a North Korean leader to step on South Korean soil, as the Moon-Kim summit is scheduled to be held on the South Korean side of the Joint Security Area, also known as Panmumjom, inside the heavily-fortified Demilitarized Zone, a buffer zone that is about 2 kilometers wide on each side of the inter-Korean border.
The inter-Korean summit will also be followed by what will be the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit.
The North Korean leader proposed holding the talks with the South Korean and U.S. leaders while meeting with a special envoy of the South Korean president in Pyongyang earlier in the month.
Trump said he will meet Kim by May.
The South Korean preparation committee will consist of three working groups.
The first group, to be headed by Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung, will set agendas for the first South-North Korea summit since 2007, while the second group, led by Moon's top press secretary Yoon Young-chan, will be tasked with communications and public relations. The third group, tasked with financing and arrangements for the summit, will be headed by a senior director of the National Intelligence Service, the country's top spy agency.
"The committee has been simplified, compared to the one created before the 2007 inter-Korean summit, so it can take necessary measures more swiftly and quickly," the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.
The working groups will hold frequent meetings on a need-basis while a plenary session of the committee will be held once every week or every two weeks, he added.
Source: Yonhap News Agency