South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold a summit on April 27, South Korea announced Thursday. High-level officials from both countries set up the meeting during talks in the border village of Panmunjom, and the Koreas plan to hold a second preparatory meeting on April 4. South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said there was a "sufficient exchange of opinions" on the agenda for the April 27 summit, but he didn't say whether Pyongyang's nuclear program will be among the items Kim and Moon discuss. The leaders of South and North Korea have held talks only twice since the 1950-53 Korean War, in 2000 and 2007.
Thursday's meeting followed a surprise visit by Kim to Beijing over the weekend, during which China said North Korea had pledged to denuclearize. State media in North Korea did not mention Kim's apparent denuclearization pledge or his reported discussion of opening dialogue with President Trump. Trump has agreed to meet with Kim and Moon before May, but North Korea hasn't officially confirmed its interest in a Kim-Trump summit. Trump expressed optimism for the summit on Twitter Wednesday:
"There's deep skepticism among some analysts that the North, after years of dogged weapons development, will commit to real denuclearization" or "a robust verification regime," The Associated Press notes.