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North, South Korea set to hold talks ahead of major summit

24 March 2018

It's unclear whether the leaders' meetings between Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington, if they take place, could lead to any meaningful breakthrough after an unusually provocative year.

The two sides will each send a three-member delegation to the border truce village of Panmunjom on Thursday for talks aimed at paving the way for a summit due in late April, it said.

"We do like to remind that it is time for all to approach everything with prudence, with self-control and patience", KCNA said in a commentary published Wednesday. It became evident when for the first time the North Korean and South Korean delegations marched together in the opening ceremonies under a unified Korean flag and Kim Yong, Kim Jong Un's sister, met South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

No location has been decided for the May talks.

"Our combined exercises are defense-oriented and there is no reason for North Korea to view them as a provocation", Pentagon unveiled, saying that Pyongyang was already informed in advance in regards of the dates and nature of the drills.

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As diplomats scurry to arrange the North-South talks as well as the proposed Trump-Kim meeting, the North's silence has raised concerns over its intentions. This became soon evident when the USA administration described the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear and missile threat as "imminent" and "alarming, ' with the then Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson highlighting the end of U.S. policy of 'strategic patience" during his visit to this region.

Among the six North Korean delegates was senior diplomat Choe Kang Il, who handles North American affairs for his government, while the US delegation is believed to have included Kathleen Stephens, the former USA ambassador to South Korea.

-North Korea talks would be what nuclear disarmament steps Kim would promise in return for what concessions from the United States and whether Trump would accept them.

"Such rubbish as "result of sanctions and pressure". spread by the hostile forces is just as meaningless as a dog barking at the moon", it added.

North Korea's economy was growing and Pyongyang's willingness to talk was a sign of its strength, not its desperation, it said.

North, South Korea set to hold talks ahead of major summit