South Korea is seeking to broadcast the upcoming inter-Korean summit as well as a joint press conference between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un live, a top presidential aide said Tuesday.
A hotline between the two leaders is likely to be set up around Friday, and they may be able to have their first phone call early next week, he said.
Presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok, who is leading the government’s inter-Korean summit preparation committee, said officials from the North and the South would discuss the broadcasting issue at a working-level meeting on protocol, security and media coverage, today.
“We want to broadcast the historic moment live,” Im said in a media briefing 10 days before the summit scheduled for April 27.
“We also hope to have a joint press conference after the summit, but we may have to discuss it with the North Koreans up until the last moment.”
One of the top issues will be how Kim will cross the military demarcation line (MDL), because of the symbolic meaning, as it will be the first time for a North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War.
“How the two leaders will move at the summit venue may also require last-minute discussions,” he said.
Im said the hotline, which was agreed to during Moon’s special envoys’ visit to Pyongyang, may be set up Friday, following two separate working-level meetings on the issue.
“A test call may be possible Friday. When the two leaders will actually talk to each other over the phone has not been agreed yet,” he said, adding the phones may be set up in the leaders’ offices.
He said the summit is meaningful in terms that it will be held at the truce village of Panmunjeom. “If this summit is successful and the two Koreas are satisfied, it may be possible to have summits at Panmunjeom regularly.”
Im noted the inter-Korean summit will lead to the Washington-Pyongyang summit in May or June, and possibly to a Seoul-Washington-Pyongyang summit according to the results of the two bilateral talks.
“The two Koreas reached many agreements in previous inter-Korean summits and on other occasions, but they were not carried through with because the previous summits were not linked to Washington-Pyongyang talks,” Im said, referring to the importance of the U.S. involvement in resolving the North Korea nuclear issue.
“So we’ve made efforts for communication with Washington. We hope the upcoming summits will be a key to resolving the issue fundamentally.”
He said the summit would focus on denuclearizing the North, establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and significantly improving inter-Korean relations.
He said the two Koreas are still coordinating the agenda items, with one or two high-level meetings being planned to discuss them. But he added the discussions and communication between the two sides were smooth.
In the meantime, Moon listened to opinions from experts on Korean Peninsula issues, mostly professors and researchers at state-run or private institutes, following a previous meeting with another advisory group comprised of former liberal governments officials.—Agencies