North Korea test site could be unusable after collapse - Chinese scientists

South Korean police officers attempt to disperse residents taking part in an anti-THAAD protest in Seongju South Korea

United States President Donald Trump may meet with South Korea's president before his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to seek a denuclearisation deal, a White House official said on Wednesday (April 26).

Moon will greet his visitor at the concrete blocks that mark the border between the two Koreas in the Demilitarized Zone, the chief of the South's presidential secretariat Im Jong-seok said.

He made his first trip to Beijing last month soon after inviting Trump to the first face-to-face talks between a North Korean and US leader and appeared to shore up ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The summit, the first of its kind since 2007, will kick off an hour later in the border village of Panmunjom.

North Korea is a fundamentally secretive society, and its nuclear program is among its most secretive aspects.

Instead, North Korea would pursue economic growth and peace.

"That's what makes this summit all the more hard", he added.

"In the process (preparation of the meeting - ed.) they (North Korea - ed.) were open in their desire to carry out denuclearization".

The most hard part, Mr Im said, centres on North Korea's level of denuclearisation commitment. He acknowledged this week that a formal peace treaty would require the approval of other parties that fought in the Korean war, notably China and the US. The position was echoed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who recently met with Trump to discuss the North Korean issue.

The summit talks will begin at 10:30.

After the end of the first session of talks, Kim Jong Un and Moon will have lunch separately before holding a tree-planting ceremony in the afternoon, Im said.

North Korean nuclear tests have caused seismic events in Chinese border towns and cities, forcing evacuations of schools and offices, sparking fears of wind-born radiation and leading to a backlash among some Chinese against their country's unpredictable traditional ally.

After they sign an agreement a joint statement will be issued.

"This summit will focus more on denuclearization and securing of permanent peace than anything else", Im said on Thursday.

A banquet and farewell ceremony will follow in the evening before Kim returns to the North.

Chinese tourists make up about 80 percent of all foreign visitors to North Korea, says a South Korean think-tank, the Korea Maritime Institute, which estimates that tourism generates revenue of about $44 million each year for the country.

The North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam, who accompanied Yo Jong to the Games, will also be part of the group, as will its foreign and defence ministers.

"As opposed to the past (inter-Korean summits), the North's delegation includes military and diplomatic officials", Im said, adding this came as a surprise to Seoul.

"We did not expect this".

Cameras wielded by one of the most aggressive media contingents on the planet will fire live images of a man used to controlling every aspect of his public persona into the homes and onto the phones of millions of people around the world, though it's not yet clear if it will be seen instantly in North Korea.

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