The JTS should be OK for what you have planned. While no direct experience with The Kona, my wife and I have done several multi-week unsupported tours on relatively light road bikes. We did not use or need front panniers for those trips. I have also used a Bianchi cyclocross bike to ride across the U.S. five years ago. Most CX bikes will do a respectable job as a "touring" bike. Depending on your weight, and the weight of gear you plan on hauling; there may not be any handling issues. Build the bike using the carbon fork, load it up, and see how it handles. If it does not perform the way you want, then you can change out the fork. Tange makes a pretty nice steel touring/CX fork. A carbon or steel fork will give a little "softer " ride than an aluminum fork. Just make sure the fork rake is the same as the Kona fork.
I posted this on another thread not too long ago, but it illustrates what a light self contained outfit can look like. My wife has a carbon fork on her bike, but my bike had an aluminum fork at that time (have since replaced it with a carbon fork). There was 25-30 lbs on my bike and 20-25 on hers. I carried the tent and cooking gear. There was no real issues with bike handling. On this trip my wife pulled away from me going downhill when I was going 43 mph