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2 Koreas to hold summit in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20: South

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un (AP)

SEOUL (Kyodo) -- North and South Korea have agreed to hold a summit meeting between their leaders in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20, the South Korean government said Thursday, after a group of officials from Seoul visited the North's capital and met with leader Kim Jong Un.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Kim confirmed his commitment to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula as well as to continue cooperation with the United States, South Korean President Moon Jae In's top security adviser Chung Eui Yong said at a briefing.

On the idea of declaring an official end to the 1950-1953 Korean War, something the United States is reluctant to entertain before seeing progress in the North's denuclearization, Kim said such a declaration is unrelated to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea, according to Chung.

Chung, who met with Kim as head of the five-member delegation to Pyongyang, said Kim expressed disappointment over a lack of appreciation within the international community for denuclearization measures taken by the North so far.

"He said two-thirds of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site has been dismantled, meaning that further tests are no longer possible," Chung said, adding that Kim hopes to have the difficulties North Korea has in communicating its denuclearization commitment known to the United States.

According to Chung, Kim also said he wishes North Korea's 70-year hostile relationship with the United States to be settled and for the denuclearization of the peninsula to take place during U.S. President Donald Trump's current term in office.

Moon had given the Chung-led delegation the task of working out details of the envisioned third summit between the Korean leaders.

High-ranking officials from North and South Korea will meet at the Panmunjeom border village in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas early next week to have "working-level discussions" on protocols, security, communication and reporting of the planned summit, Chung said.

During the delegates' visit, the two Koreas also agreed to open an inter-Korean liaison office in the North Korean border city of Kaesong ahead of the September summit, he said.

On Thursday, North Korean state media also reported that Kim told the South Korean envoys that North and South Korea should further their efforts to realize denuclearization on the peninsula.

Kim noted that "it is our fixed stand and his will to completely remove the danger of armed conflict and horror of war from the Korean peninsula and turn it into the cradle of peace without nuclear weapons and free from nuclear threat," a Korean Central News Agency report said.

Moon and Kim met at Panmunjeom in April and May in an atmosphere of reconciliation on the peninsula and had since agreed to hold a third summit sometime this month.

The Sept. 18-20 Moon-Kim summit comes after Trump in late August nixed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned trip to North Korea over a lack of progress in denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea.

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