No missiles but ballet as North Korea's Kim puts on a show

North Korean guards standing face-to-face at the Joint Security Area, a small strip of land in the truce village of Panmunjom

The peninsula remains bisected in a perpetual stalemate, with the US -backed South Korean military lined up against more than a million North Korean troops. "That is why the visit planned for the first half of 2018 had to be postponed", Ambassador Kim Dae sik told the press conference in Astana.

Moon is set to meet the reclusive North Korean leader next Friday for what would be a third inter-Korean summit.

Photos released by state media, as well as by tour companies that brought foreign tourists in for the holiday and a Spring Friendship Art Festival, showed no weapons but instead a weekend of performances, fireworks, dancing and sports. "The United States will insist on complete, irreversible and verifiable North Korea's abandonment of its nuclear program in rigid timeframe".

"The inter-Korean summit can be seen as a touchstone, an overture ahead of a more important North Korea-US summit", he said, adding that if both summits were a success "many possibilities", such as normalization of political relations, economic cooperation, etc., would open up for all the participants, especially Pyongyang. And the South Korean government hopes the first inter-Korean summit on the South's side won't be the last. South Korea's Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported on Tuesday that the two sides had been discussing plans for a permanent end to the war at the North-South summit, citing an unidentified South Korean official with knowledge of the matter.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27th.

A successful Moon-Kim summit could help pave the way for the Trump-Kim meeting, which would be the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump are expected to hold their own summit talks sometime next month or in June.

The South Korean presidential chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, said on Tuesday that discussions will focus on fundamental issues - denuclearizing North Korea, establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and improving inter-Korean ties. The two Koreas may also discuss pulling some of their forces away from the heavily fortified demilitarized zone separating them, the newspaper said. The North also had expressed readiness to hold a similar event with the President of the United States.

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