Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, will travel to Pyongyang on September 18 for a three-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, his top aides confirmed on Thursday.
The announcement followed the hand delivery of a letter from Mr Moon to Kim by Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s national security advisor, and spy chief Suh Hoon, who visited the North Korean capital on Wednesday.
The summit, the third between the two leaders since April, and the first time a leader from the South has visited the North in more than a decade, comes despite a stalemate between Washington and Pyongyang over the progress of disarmament talks.
Pyongyang wants the US to agree to formally end the Korean War, which concluded in 1953 with an armistice, not a peace deal, and reiterated its demand on its foreign ministry website this week.
Washington wants Kim to disclose his nuclear and missiles programmes and assets, and cancelled a planned trip to Pyongyang by Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, late last month.
With neither side willing to make the first move, Mr Moon has once again been cast in the role of mediator, with hopes pinned on the South Korean leader to reignite the faltering talks.