Kim to shutter nuclear site if USA takes steps

North Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pose for photographs on the top of Mt. Paektu, North Korea September 20, 2018.

"(Moon) would add much legitimacy to Kim, who had never had any summit with a foreign leader until early this year", said Seo Yu-suk, a research manager at the Institute of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

On the eve of the Moon-Kim summit, an editorial in a North Korean state newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, blamed the US for their diplomatic deadlock.

Following Kim's summit with South Korea president Moon Jae-in, where President Trump said "tremendous progress" was made, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said negotiations with Pyongyang are back on. Compared to the vague language of their two earlier summits, Mr Kim and Mr Moon seem to have agreed on an ambitious program meant to tackle soaring tensions that caused many to fear war previous year as the North tested a string of increasingly powerful weapons.

The aim, as South Korean National Security Council Director Chung Eui-yong put it, is to work with the worldwide community to "provide North Korea with all the support and encouragement to make the right choices for itself".

The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae revealed Thursday that two tons of pine mushrooms have arrived at Seoul Air Base, Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, as a gift from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which will be distributed to South Korean separated families, who haven't met their relatives in the North, as a Chuseok holiday present.

"While North Korea has stopped testing missiles and nuclear devices, they have NOT moved toward denuclearization", he tweeted. At those talks, the North Korean leader promised to end his country's nuclear weapons program.

Asked why this detail was not in the document signed by Moon and Kim, Nauert replied: "We have had conversations. with the government of North Korea and that is our mutual understanding; that is also the understanding between (South) Korea and North Korea".

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North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un committed Wednesday to permanently shut down a key missile site under the supervision of foreign inspectors.

"Given how Kim recently suggested a specific timetable for denuclearization, a more concrete agreement than one in Singapore is expected to come out in the next summit". South Korea and the United States remain technically at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice and not a peace treaty. He said that South Korea could possibly mediate between the United States and North Korea in exchanging the list for an official end of war declaration.

Mr Moon was born in South Korea in 1953 during the Korean War.

Historians say the 5,000-year timeline of Korean history is a groundless claim that became part of South Korea's official narrative after being inserted in school textbooks during the rule of former dictator Chun Doo-hwan.

South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo and North Korea's Minister of the People's Armed Forces No Kwang Chol signed an agreement that Seoul says is about reducing military tensions along the border. But inter-Korean relations continue to grow closer, and the trip to Paektu highlighted the close relationship between the two leaders.

Moon urged unity for all Koreans in a speech he gave Wednesday night to the crowd gathered for North Korea's signature mass games.

"Chairman Kim reaffirmed his strong will for denuclearization again and again", Moon said.

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