North and South Korea have announced they will hold their second-ever summit this month in an attempt to bring lasting peace to a peninsula divided for 60 years.

President Roh Moo-Hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il will meet in Pyongyang from 28 to 30 August.

The first meeting between North and South Korea, which took place in 2000, ushered in a new era of reconciliation marked by economic joint projects and family reunions.

South Korea said the summit was proposed by the North, which tested its first nuclear weapon last October, but is moving towards shutting down its atomic programme under a six-nation agreement.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said the meeting would be of weighty significance in opening a new phase of peace.

A Seoul presidential office statement said the two leaders would discuss a formal peace treaty.

The countries have remained technically at war since 1953, when the Korean conflict ended in an armistice and not a peace treaty.

The US State Department said it hoped the meeting would help fulfil the goals of the six-nation talks.