Top Security Advisers of S. Korea, US to Meet on Thursday

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The DPRK and South Korea have been improving relations since the beginning of the year and the leaders of the two sides are scheduled to hold a summit meeting on April 27, which will be the first in over 10 years.

"In that vein, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is mustering a lot of efforts to maintain close communication and to strengthen cooperation with the USA through various diplomatic channels of different levels ahead of the two summits, including the South Korean Embassy in the US", the spokesman noted.

He expressed hope for Britain's support in resolving issues on the Korean Peninsula as the European country, which has an embassy in Pyongyang, is also seeking dialogue.

His remarks come as the government prepares for the summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on April 27 at the truce village of Panmunjeom.

China will send a Communist Party official with an art troupe to North Korea for a festival celebrating the country's founder, state media said Wednesday, as the neighbours seek to heal battered relations.

"North Korea summit. I hope to work to increase cooperation between Japan and South Korea, as well as Japan, South Korea and the USA, and realize the denuclearization of North Korea", he said through his interpreter.

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Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono arrived in Seoul on Tuesday afternoon for a two-day visit.

Robert Gallucci, chief US negotiator during the North Korean nuclear crisis in 1994, said the inter-Korean summit should create an atmosphere for "future conversations between experts" by touching up on a general framework of talks.

The relationship between Seoul and Tokyo turned sour when the new South Korean administration began demanding an official apology from the Japanese government for Japan's World War II atrocities against its Asian neighbors, such as its sexual slavery of thousands of Korean women.

"I want Japan and South Korea to closely coordinate to realize the denuclearization of North Korea and bring about peace, stability and prosperity in Northeast Asia", Kono said.

The Moon administration conducted a review of the bilateral deal struck on December 28, 2015, which included a Japanese government apology and a multimillion-dollar fund for the so-called comfort women victims, and concluded that the agreement was flawed and insufficient. North Korea acknowledged in 2002 that it had abducted 13 Japanese. "And in my conversations with North Koreans over the years, it is clear that the United States has to take a number of steps first, such as ending the alliance with South Korea, removing all of its military troops off the Korean Peninsula".

The Moon-Kim summit, if held, will mark the third inter-Korean summit.