Moon adviser says North Korea seeks economic growth

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The April 27 summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un - the third-ever meeting of leaders from the two Koreas - may see the pair release a joint statement saying that they will seek to ease military tensions and to end confrontation, according to the official.

South and North Korea have discussed plans to announce an official end to the military conflict between the two countries that are still technically at war, the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified South Korean official. On the occasion of and after the Games, the two Koreas exchanged their special envoys and finally agreed to hold the historic inter-Korean summit at the truce village of Panmunjeom on April 27th.

"Even though our special envoys confirmed his denuclearization will, it is entirely different if the two leaders confirm it directly among themselves and put that into text", Moon's chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, told reporters.

"We expect the summit will confirm the denuclearisation will (of North Korea), and hope to have a comprehensive agreement with the North on the matter", he said.

The North initially reached out to South Korea when Kim said in his New Year's address that his country was willing to participate in the PyeongChang Winter Games and hold talks with Seoul to realize that.

"If they can agree on the principle that the two sides will co-operate to denuclearise the Korean peninsula and establish permanent peace, we can call it a success", Prof Yang added.

In retrospect of a few months ago, the military tension surrounding the Korean peninsula was at its peak and held the possibility to develop into accidental military conflagrations.

Asked about the report, a foreign ministry spokeswoman in Beijing said: "We are willing to maintain and strengthen high-level exchanges with the DPRK (North Korea), deepen strategic communication and expand exchanges and cooperation to benefit the people of both countries". On the other hand, President Trump's officials were debating military options against North Korea. "We should improve the frozen inter-Korean relations", Kim said in the televised address, "and glorify this meaningful year as an eventful one, noteworthy in the history of the nation".

Im revealed that a direct phone link between Moon and Kim will likely be set up on Friday.

Noting his meeting with Kim will soon be followed by a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader, Moon said the upcoming summits will mark a "great transition" in the history of the world.

Discussions are underway about live coverage of part of the meeting, Im said.

The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the conflict.