South Korea, North Korea to hold summit talks next month: Seoul

South Korea, North Korea to hold summit talks next month: Seoul
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly agreed to hold summit talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April, and pledged to halt his country's nuclear weapons testing if the U.S. agrees to hold talks with Pyongyang.

Chung Eui-yong, South Korea's presidential national security director, said Tuesday that the North and South Korean leaders would also open a hotline in an effort to lower military tensions between their two countries, The Associated Press reported.

Chung returned to Seoul on Tuesday after a two-day visit to Pyongyang with a delegation of South Korean officials.

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The summit would be the third between North and South Korea. Two previous summits — one in 2000 and another in 2007 — led to a series of efforts intended to reduce tensions that were ultimately abandoned.

The agreement to hold the summit in April is the latest development in a series of cooperative moves between the two countries that began this year.

The diplomatic overtures follow a year of especially high tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which stepped up the pace of its ballistic missile tests and detonated what officials in Pyongyang claimed was a hydrogen bomb. 

The Trump administration has pushed for an international pressure campaign against North Korea, focused mainly on stiff sanctions, in hopes of forcing Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.