South Korea to Hold Summit Anniversary Event Without North Korea

Youkyung Lee

(Bloomberg) -- South Korea plans to hold an event to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, without the North’s participation.

Seoul’s Ministry of Unification in charge of inter-Korean affairs said in a statement Sunday that the event, featuring artists from South Korea, the U.S., China and Japan, will be held on April 27 at the border town of Panmunjom. The ministry said that while it plans to inform Pyongyang of the event, which will be called “The Long Road,” it currently plans to organize the show without its northern counterpart.

The absence of North Korean participation highlights the challenges facing inter-Korean relations. A year ago, Kim and Moon shook hands at their militarized boundary, declared an “era of peace” and agreed to improve ties. Progress has stalled since President Donald Trump’s last summit with Kim broke down without a disarmament deal in February.

In a bid to revive the nuclear negotiations, the South Korean president said last week it was time for another summit with Kim. While Pyongyang has not publicly responded to Moon’s proposal, it has criticized U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, and last week tested a new tactical guided weapon.

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