North, South Korea to hold summit on April 27

South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, who led a three-member delegation to the latest high-level talks, said another high-level meeting between the two Koreas could be held next month "if necessary" to further discuss key agenda items for the summit.

The inter-Korean summit will be South Korean President Moon Jae-in's first face-to-face meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the third summit of its kind between two Korean leaders after 2000 and 2007.

The development came just a few days after Kim made his first worldwide trip to China, Pyongyang's regional ally that left many surprised.

The announcement comes a day after news emerged of discussions between Mr Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Greeting the South Korean officials at the North Korea-controlled Tongilgak building, Ri said that the past 80 days have been filled with "unprecedented historic events" between the rivals, referring to the Koreas resuming dialogue before the Winter Olympics in the South and the agreement on the summit.

When Kim's sister joined the Pyongyang delegation to the games in February, she was the first member of her family to step onto South Korean soil since the Korean War in the 1950s. By reintroducing China, which is North Korea's only major ally, as a major player, the North also gains leverage against South Korea and the United States, analysts say.

This came after the two nations agreed on a rare summit that could prove significant in global efforts to resolve a decades-long standoff over the North's nuclear programme.

On Wednesday, Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted Kim as saying the nuclear weapons issue could be resolved if South Korea and the USA respond to North Korea's efforts "with goodwill".

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A senior Chinese official visiting Seoul on Thursday to brief South Korea on Kim's visit to Beijing, said it should help ease tension and lead to the denuclearization of the peninsula.

Officials will meet again on Wednesday, April 4 to plan the details of protocol, security, and media access ahead of the summit.

Even more surprising was Kim's pledge to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Xi-Kim dialogue was a "good indication that the maximum pressure campaign has been working", because for the first time since Kim rose to power, he left the country to meet the head of a foreign government.

In his talks with Xi, Kim may have discussed economic cooperation or requested a softening of the enforcement of sanctions over the North's nuclear weapons and missiles.

The North Korean leader's engagement with the worldwide community has sparked speculation that he may try to meet other leaders.

Separately, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi met South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong on Thursday to discuss the recent North Korean-Chinese summit in Beijing.

It appears Trump believes holding up what he considers a "wonderful deal" for the U.S. until later in the North Korea negotiations will help keep pressure on South Korea to facilitate the talks.

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