Moon Says Need U.S. Agreement to Declare War's End: Korea Update

(Bloomberg) -- The leaders of the two Koreas are set to hold their first summit since 2007 on Friday, and officials are taking a series of diplomatic steps to lay the ground for the meeting. Those talks could play a major role in the planning for another historic event, a potential meeting in late May or June between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

We follow the developments here. Time stamps are Seoul:

Moon Says Declaration of War End Needs U.S. Backing (6:03 p.m.)

Moon told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a phone call that any declaration of an end to the war would need the agreement of the U.S. as well as South Korea and North Korea, the presidential Blue House said in a text message. He added that a successful inter-Korean summit would help Japan normalize its relationship with North Korea.

Moon Tells Abe He’s Got No Fixed Agenda for Talks (5:32 p.m.)

In a 40-minute phone call Tuesday, Moon told Abe that he’s got no fixed agenda for the summit with Kim, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters in Tokyo.

Moon and Abe agreed to maintain "maximum pressure" on North Korea and would cooperate on the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang agents in the 1970s and 1980s.

Two Korean Leaders to Dine on ‘Sunshine Menu’ (5:01 p.m.)

At their banquet after the summit, the two leaders will dine on a specially curated menu that includes includes specialties from the hometowns of the two liberal South Korean leaders who have met their counterparts north of the border.

Read about the menu here

Pompeo Wins Surprise Senate Panel Support (7:12 a.m.)

A divided U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in favor of Mike Pompeo to be the next secretary of state, paving the way for the CIA director to gain approval from the full Senate later this week and handing a victory to Trump.

G-7 Backs U.S. Over North Korea Talks (7:03 a.m.)

“We stand united behind the United States of America and the Republic of Korea as they undertake bilateral discussions with the DPRK,” foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations said in a communique issued at the conclusion of their meeting in Toronto.

“We further resolve to make clear to the DPRK that a diplomatic solution leading to complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of WMDs and missiles, as well as related facilities, is the DPRK’s only viable option.”

Mattis Sees ‘a Lot of Reasons for Optimism’ (3:50 a.m.)

“Right now, I think there is a lot of reasons for optimism that the negotiations will be fruitful and we’ll see,” U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in response to a question about whether North Korea’s recent actions were positive signs or empty words. He was speaking to Pentagon reporters as he greeted his Thai counterpart Prawit Wongsuwan on Monday.

Nuclear Test Site is Fully Functional, 38 North Says (Monday)

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear test site, where the nation has conducted six acknowledged underground detonations is still fully operational, according to analysis published on the 38 North website.

The site, run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, said there is no basis to conclude the site is no longer viable for future nuclear testing. The analysis comes after Kim vowed to suspend nuclear tests.

Related stories:
Kim Jong Un, S. Korea Moon to Have Banquet After Summit April 27
The Man Who Brought Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to the Table

Coming up:
South, North Korea may talk on new hotline after summit, according to Yonhap

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