North and South Korean talks

North And South Korea Begin Talks Ahead Of Summit

The meeting on Monday comes amid growing worries about whether North Korea will begin abandoning its nuclear weapons.

North and South Korean talks

Delegations from the two nations held talks in a North Koreans building in the border village Panmunjom. (Image: Press Corps/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images).

Senior officials from the rival Koreas met on Monday to set a date and venue for the third summit between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The two leaders, who first met in April in a highly publicised summit and then again in May for more informal talks, previously agreed to meet again sometime in the Autumn in Pyongyang but released no concrete details.

The meeting on Monday comes amid growing worries about whether North Korea will begin abandoning its nuclear weapons, something officials suggested would happen after Mr. Kim's summit with US president Donald Trump in June.

North Korea is thought to have a growing arsenal of nuclear bombs and long-range missiles and to be closing in on the ability to reliably target anywhere on the US mainland.

A string of weapons tests last year, during which Pyongyang claimed to have completed its nuclear arsenal, had many in Asia worried that Washington and Pyongyang were on the brink of war.

After a peace offering by Mr Kim in January, Mr Moon was able to orchestrate his own summits with Mr Kim, which were followed by Mr Kim and Mr Trump's meeting in June.

In opening remarks, the head of the North Korean delegation set a positive tone for the day's meeting, comparing the current state of inter-Korean relations to very close friends where nothing can stand between the two."We are attending this talk with an intention to get some good outcomes"

Mr Ri told the South Korean delegation, according to pool reports:

"The meeting between Seoul and Pyongyang comes as experts see slow progress on efforts to disarm North Korea since the Singapore summit."

Pyongyang urged Washington to reciprocate its goodwill gestures, which include suspending missile and nuclear tests and returning the remains of Americans who fought in the Korean War.

Washington, which cancelled an annual joint military exercise with South Korea that had taken place in August in previous years, has refused to ease sanctions until North Korea finally and fully denuclearises.