North Korea says it will dismantle nuclear complex - if United States responds
20 September, 2018, 05:47 | Author: Katrina Soto
Both DRPK leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Kae-in made the announcement in a joint statement following another successful friendly summit between the two strained nations, as tensions between the two inch even further into unchartered amicable territory. While this is a considerable step forward in terms of denuclearization, Kim's government hinted that they will only agree to these terms if the United States takes "reciprocal measures" in turn.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hold a joint news conference in Pyongyang on September 19, 2018.
Before leaving for Pyongyang, Moon said he planned to have a lot of frank talks with Kim in order to bring an "irreversible, permanent peace to the Korean Peninsula" and help restart the DPRK-U.S. dialogue on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
But discussions over how to implement the vague commitments have since faltered.
"We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat", Kim said.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un held a joint press conference on Wednesday where it was announced that North Korea would agree to disassemble a key missile launch site while allowing for worldwide inspections. "But very importantly, no missile testing, no nuclear testing", Trump said.
Declaring they had made a major step toward peace, Moon and Kim stood side by side as they announced their joint statement to a group of North and South Korean reporters after a closed-door meeting Wednesday morning.
The talks were supposed to enhance cooperation between the two Koreas, as well as pave the way for a second summit between Kim and Trump later this year.
The summit talks began at the ruling Workers' Party headquarters where Kim and Moon were joined by two of their top deputies - spy chief Suh Hoon and presidential security director Chung Eui-yong for Moon, and for Kim, his sister, Kim Yo Jong, and senior Workers' Party official Kim Yong Chol, according to Moon's office.
Speaking to the press on the outcome of Moon's visit to North Korea, Kim noted that the "agreement at Pyongyang summit will advance an era of peace, prosperity". He also pledged to allow in "external inspectors" to verify that a key missile test site has been disabled.
In addition to showing his readiness to shut down the nuclear complex in Yongbyon in the country's northwest, Kim pledged to permanently close North Korea's key missile test site in Tongchang-ri in the presence of worldwide experts.
The Korean leaders also said the North would dismantle a missile engine test site and launch pad in the presence of outside inspectors, and would seek to host the 2032 Summer Olympics together. "I expect that these steps would greatly help allay the global community's mistrust that such dismantlement was only for show [without the inspection]", Chung Eui-yong, Moon's national security adviser, told reporters in Pyongyang.
"For the first time, South and North Korea agreed on a specific step toward denuclearisation". Experts also believe that North Korea has continued to build nuclear weapons this year.
Kim has also cozied up to Moon to obtain economic aid from Seoul, as North Korea's economy is believed to be suffering from worldwide sanctions created to curtail its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
"We don't have a timeline, and we also don't have any guarantees about the larger nuclear and missile programs".
In addition, the two leaders agreed that before the end of the year, they would participate in groundbreaking ceremonies to link railways along the east and west coasts of the Korean peninsula.
Later on Wednesday, Moon's delegation is scheduled to tour the Mansudae Art Studio, the North's largest producer of art and propaganda, which was sanctioned by the United Nations a year ago.
In another tweet, Trump said the two Koreas' push for a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics is "very exciting".
The two also agreed to withdraw all guard posts from the DMZ. Though it wasn't packaged that way for the domestic audience, Kim's meeting with Moon could just as easily be seen as a big message for Trump, one that was perfectly in keeping with what North Korea has been proposing since the Trump summit ended.
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Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
After the talks, the two leaders will watch a mass gymnastics and artistic performance "The Glorious Country" in the evening. Moon, who was instrumental in brokering that meeting, is hoping to play the role of a mediator again this week.
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