Sunday, 16 December, 2018

President Moon arrives in North Korea for talks

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Patty Aguilar | 19 September, 2018, 09:40

"If realised, he would be the first North Korean leader to visit Seoul since the peninsula was divided into North and South at the end of World War II in 1945".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un held a summit on Wednesday and, in a joint presser afterward, made several announcements.

After the two leaders signed, military top brass from two Koreas, South Korean defense minister Song Young-moo and his North Korean counterpart No Kwang-chol, also signed the agreement and exchanged the documents.

"We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat", Kim said as he stood by Moon's side at the guesthouse where Moon is staying.

After the summit in Pyongyang, South Korea President Moon Jae-in told reporters: "The North agreed to permanently close the Tongchang-ri missile engine test site and missile launch facility in the presence of experts from relevant nations".

"It's not too much to say that it's Moon's efforts that arranged a historic North Korea-U.S. summit".

The North also "expressed its readiness" to take additional measures, such as a permanent dismantlement of its main nuclear facilities in Yongbyon should there be corresponding measures from the United States, Moon said.

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He said: "There is not only going to be a smooth road ahead, there will be challenged and trials, but the more we overcome them the stronger we will become". North Korea has been demanding a declaration formally ending the Korean War, which was stopped in 1953 by a ceasefire, but neither leader mentioned it as they read the joint statement.

Defense Minister Song Young-moo and his North Korean counterpart, No Kwang-chol, sign an agreement on reducing tensions in Pyongyang on September 19, 2018, in this photo captured from a screen at the press center in Seoul.

"South and North Korea agreed on a specific step toward denuclearisation".

Moon is on a three-day trip to the North Korean capital for his third summit with Kim this year, hoping to reboot stalled denuclearisation talks between his hosts and the United States.

The two countries will cooperate in major sporting events including the 2020 Olympics Games as well, a joint statement between the countries said.

The premiere of the latest version of the show, called "The Glorious Country", earlier this month featured video footage of Moon and Kim together at their first summit in Panmunjom - prompting the unusual sight of tens of thousands of North Koreans applauding images of the South's president.

USA officials involved in the latest negotiations have said North Korea has refused to even start discussions about defining denuclearization.

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