• Kyodo


A planned hotline between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be set up on Friday, one week before they are set to meet for the first inter-Korean summit in over a decade, the South’s government said Thursday.

North and South Korea have agreed that the leaders will hold telephone talks before meeting face-to-face on the southern side of the border village Panmunjom, scheduled for April 27.

The hotline will connect the South’s presidential office and the North’s State Affairs Commission, which Kim heads. Working-level officials of the two countries will test the hotline on Friday, according to the presidential office.

The office also said six officials will accompany Moon to the summit, including Chung Eui-yong, head of the National Security Office, Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and Defense Minister Song Young-moo.

But it said who among them will actually attend the summit will depend on the composition and size of the visiting North Korean officials.

Kim would become the first North Korean supreme leader to visit the South.

South and North Korea on Wednesday hammered out various details of the summit, including plans for a live broadcast of a handshake between the two men, according to the presidential office.

The two Koreas previously held summits in 2000 and 2007, both held in Pyongyang and involving Kim Jong Il, the current leader’s father who died in 2011.

The two Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in a cease-fire.

Inter-Korean relations have been improving since the North decided to take part in the Feb. 9-25 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea.