South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in Pyongyang Tuesday for his third summit with Kim Jong Un as he seeks to reboot stalled denuclearization talks between North Korea and the United States.
For his part the dovish South Korean president is looking to tie the two tracks closer together to reduce the threat of a devastating conflict on the peninsula.
Business leaders are there to underline the potential economic rewards for North Korea should it denuclearize, although deals can't be made unless and until USA -led sanctions are lifted.
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Moon is hoping to engineer a proposal that combines a framework for the North's denuclearisation and a joint declaration ending the Korean War, Seoul officials said.
The summit will likely be a crucial indicator of how the larger nuclear negotiations with the United States will proceed.
Moon has been pushing inter-Korean economic co-operation but several South Korean newspapers urged caution Monday, with the Korea Herald calling the businessmen's presence on the trip "untimely".
Im said the measures would "fundamentally remove the danger of armed clashes and ease fears of war", but warned that all the details hadn't been agreed going into the summit.
North Korea says it has already dismantled two nuclear and missile testing sites this year, and wants the United States to declare that the 1950-53 Korean War is formally over, to reduce hostility and build mutual trust.
Washington's denuclearization talks with Pyongyang have hit a wall in the more than three months since U.S. President Donald Trump's landmark summit in Singapore with Kim.
Ahead of the summit, Mr Moon tweeted: "What I want to achieve is peace".
Seoul said that could lay the groundwork for a formal declaration on the Korean War, when hostilities ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty - implying that such an announcement was unlikely during the trip.
Besides the nuclear disarmament, the agenda of talks includes such issues as revitalization of the North Korean-American dialogue and further reduction of military tension on the Korean peninsula.
Amid the pomp and smiles, Mr Moon will be looking to settle some lofty goals, including resolving deadlocked nuclear diplomacy, easing a military standoff and promoting peace on a peninsula many feared was close to war previous year.
Withdrawing of guard posts from the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone, disarming the jointly controlled security area inside the DMZ and excavating war remains buried along the border with North Korea are some of the measures being considered.
Whatever the outcome of the third inter-Korean summit, its impact on the alliance between the US and South Korea is likely to be limited.
Moon has reiterated that any progress in inter-Korean relations should go hand-in-hand with relations with the US.
"This is a very unpopular plan in Washington and among general foreign policy experts in the U.S. because it puts the alliance's future at risk in exchange for good faith from North Korea", said Van Jackson, a professor of worldwide relations at Victoria University of Wellington. -South Korea alliance coordination is crucial. So far, the US wants concrete steps by the North to prove denuclearization, for example, a "list" of nuclear facilities.
"If this visit somehow leads to the resumption of the US-North Korea talks, it would be significant enough in itself", he was quoted as saying before departure.
But in terms of what Moon can do to help further the U.S.