North and South Korea are set to hold general-level military talks on June 14, in an endeavour to improve relations between the two countries. This comes after North Korea cancelled the high-level talks with South Korea originally scheduled for May 16, over the joint military drills undertaken by Seoul and Washington D.C. During the high-level talks held at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on Friday, separating the two Koreas, officials from the two Korean countries agreed to hold a Red Cross meeting on June 22 to discuss the possibility of holding a reunion meet for families, who were separated by the Korean War, at North Korea’s at the Mount Kumgang resort, Yonhap news agency reported.
The North’s five-member team was headed by Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country. It also included Vice Railroad Minister Kim Yun-hyok and Vice Sports Minister Won Kil-u. Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon led the five-member delegation from the South, which included Vice Transport Minister Kim Jeong-ryeol and Vice Culture Minister Roh Tae-kang. The two Koreas will also hold a meeting on June 18 to discuss ways of cooperation in sports, which also includes a proposal to field a unified Korean team for the forthcoming 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia in August. The officials also discussed on ways of improving transportation links between the two countries as well as bolstering cooperation in other inter-Korean projects. These steps were being taken under the Panmunjom Declaration, which was adopted by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim at the inter-Korean summit on April 24, where the two leaders vowed to end hostilities and sign a peace treaty to formally end the six-decades old Korean War.
The talks came after US President Donald Trump, who earlier cancelled the meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said on Friday that the summit would be held as planned on June 12 in Singapore. The Vice Chairman of North Korea, Kim Yong Chol, who was on a recent visit to the US, was the first top North Korean official to visit the country since 2000. He held separate meetings with Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the summit. It may be noted that on May 27, Moon, who met Kim once again at the DMZ said that the latter had reaffirmed his willingness to hold a summit with the US and was for the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.