SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in had “virtually accepted” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s invitation to Pyongyang, officials said on Saturday, making way for a first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade.
Kim’s sister Kim Yo Jong, who is visiting South Korea as his special envoy for the Winter Olympics, conveyed her brother’s invitation during a meeting at the presidential Blue House, officials from the Blue House said.
A visit by Moon to the North would be only the third inter-Korean summit to take place.
Here is a look at the history of inter-Korean summits and their outcomes.
FIRST SUMMIT, PYONGYANG (June 13-15, 2000)
South Korea’s then president Kim Dae-jung, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his Sunshine policy of engagement with the North, visited Pyongyang for an unprecedented inter-Korean summit with late leader Kim Jong Il.
The two leaders adopted a joint peace declaration after the three-day meeting, agreeing to promote independent unification and humanitarian and economic cooperation.
The meeting led to a series of reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, as well as the launch of a joint factory park in the North’s border town of Kaesong in 2004.
Kim Jong Il travelled to Beijing to meet then Chinese president Jiang Zemin before the summit. The North and the United States were also holding a series of high-level talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes.
SECOND SUMMIT, PYONGYANG (Oct 2-4, 2007)
Roh Moo-hyun, a liberal South Korean president who carried on with Kim Dae-jung’s engagement policy, crossed the border to the North to meet Kim Jong Il in 2007.
The meeting came amid brisk diplomacy among the members of six-party denuclearisation talks - the United States, China, Japan, Russia and the two Koreas.
The six nations were working to implement a framework deal they reached in September 2005 under which Pyongyang was to give up its nuclear programme in return for massive economic and energy aid and an end to its diplomatic isolation.
The summit culminated in an eight-point agreement, built on the 2000 declaration. The two leaders vowed to resolve the nuclear issues by implementing the 2005 deal; end military hostilities through dialogue; replace the current armistice signed after the Korean War with a permanent peace regime; and expand business cooperation by building new joint economic zones, among others.
But the agreement made little headway after the North carried out a series of nuclear and missile tests, and after conservative presidents took office in the South, adopting a harder line on Pyongyang.
Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Paul Tait