North Korea wants "complete denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula and is willing to drop its key demand that American troops fully withdraw from South Korea, according to Seoul. South Korean president Moon Jae-in, who is scheduled to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on April 27, said Thursday that Pyongyang had expressed a will for denuclearization and had not attached any conditions that the US would consider unacceptable, including a troop pullout, the Guardian reports. "All they are expressing is the end of hostile policies against North Korea, followed by a guarantee of security," he said. North Korea has not confirmed that it has dropped the demand for the withdrawal of US troops.
Moon said his summit with Kim could be a step toward a formal end to the Korean War and aid for the North's economy if it gets rid of its nuclear weapons program, though he cautioned that no progress would be made separate from the upcoming US-North Korea summit. "First, the South-North Korean summit must make a good beginning, and the dialogue between the two Koreas likely must continue after we see the results of the North Korea-United States summit," he said, per Reuters. The April 27 meeting will be only the third meeting of Korean leaders since 1953. On Friday, the first-ever telephone hotline between the leaders was installed and tested in preparation for the summit, the AP reports.