Kim Jong-un has agreed to allow in worldwide inspectors to observe the “permanent dismantling” of key missile facilities, according to Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s president.
On Tuesday, the first day of the summit, he greeted Moon and his wife at Pyongyang’s airport and then rode into town with Moon in an open limousine through streets lined with crowds of North Koreans, who cheered and waved the flag of their country and a blue-and-white flag that symbolizes Korean unity.
But Kim did not mention denuclearisation at any point in his remarks, and it was Moon who communicated the North’s plans to close the Yongbyon nuclear reactor as well as shut missile test pads in front of “international experts”.
At the start of their meeting Tuesday, Kim thanked Moon for brokering the June summit with Trump.
The outcome will also be a litmus test for another meeting Mr Kim has recently proposed to Mr Trump. North Korea, however, is pushing for the United States to declare the 1950-1953 Korean War formally over, and claims Trump made a promise to that effect in Singapore.
Moon is scheduled to return home Thursday after taking a joint excursion with Kim to North Korea’s Mount Paekdu.
The agreement came in a historic summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held at the state guesthouse Paekhwawon in Pyongyang.
President Trump called the potential Korean hosting “very exciting“.
North Korea says it will also permanently dismantle its main Nyongbyon nuclear complex but only if the United States takes reciprocal measures, Mr Moon added. Moon sat with Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s top security adviser, and National Intelligence Chief Suh Hoon.
They also pledged to hold a groundbreaking ceremony this year for railways and roads to connect the two Koreans along their eastern and western coasts.
The visit would mark the first time a North Korean leader visited Seoul since the two countries were split in 1945.
The U.S.is said to have demanded a list of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and nuclear inspections.
The two leaders also agreed to establish “buffer zones” along their land and sea borders to prevent the danger of accidental clashes.
The North and South Korean militaries also agreed to “preclude the use of military force under any circumstance”, pledging to resolve all issues that might result in conflict in a peaceful manner.
Although it was not clear what “corresponding” USA steps North Korea expected as a condition to make good on the promise to shut down Yongbyon, President Trump, in a tweet just after midnight Wednesday, appeared to deem the summit a success, calling it “Very exciting!”
Even so, lasting rapprochement between the two Koreas have proven elusive in the past, with hopes for peace degenerating into renewed recriminations and saber rattling following two previous summits in 2000 and 2007.
Satellite images and other evidence in recent months have suggested North Korea is continuing to work on its nuclear programme clandestinely.
19 September 2018
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