Don't forget human rights in North Korea, UN rapporteur says


As Friday's summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un approaches, South Koreans remain philosophically in favor of unity but they are not terribly enthusiastic about actually doing it, at least not in the near future.

Details of Friday's summit were finally made official at a briefing at the press center set up at the KINTEX conference center in the dormitory town of Ilsan, north of Seoul and south of the DMZ, and by a statement released by the presidential Blue House.

Kim will become the first North Korean leader to step on South Korean soil since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty, Efe news reported.

South Korean honour guards will then escort the leaders to a welcome ceremony at a plaza in Panmunjom, a military compound in the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between the two countries.

South Korean President Moon Jae In is due to meet with Kim on Friday, and Trump has said he could have talks with the North Korean leader in late May or June.

The leaders will meet again in the afternoon and later attend a banquet, he added.

But the United States president has avoided the issue in the build-up to the summit and Seoul's foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha said earlier that Pyongyang's human rights record would not be on the agenda.

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The remarks came days before only the third-ever inter-Korea summit, in which Moon will focus on persuading Kim to give up his widely condemned nuclear weapons and easing military tension between the two Koreas.

Engraved on the stone plaque for the tree will be the phrase, "Peace and Prosperity Are Planted", as well as the signatures of the leaders.

The leaders of the two Koreas will have lunch separately after the summit meeting in the morning, with Kim slated to return back to the DPRK side of Panmunjom for lunch and a break.

Im said Kim is to be accompanied by nine top North Korean officials, including his influential sister, Kim Yo Jong.

According to the Blue House, National Security Office Director Chung Eui-yong met his United States counterpart, National Security Advisor John Bolton, on April 24 to discuss the preparation of the inter-Korean summit, cooperation for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and schedule of the South Korea-U.S. summit. "This meeting will be a good opportunity to start a transparent dialogue and a concrete path of reconciliation and new-found fraternity in order to secure peace in the Korean peninsula and in the whole world".

Reunification is not even a discussion item on the agenda of the Moon-Kim summit, even though just about every joint entertainment and sporting event between North and South ends with happy songs about the handsome dream of a united Korea.

Im confirmed that there are no plans to extend the summit schedule as of now.