North Korea agreed to take additional steps toward making the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons and threats of armed conflict Wednesday, in an apparent gesture to restart its denuclearization talks with the United States.
The agreement came in a historic summit between its leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held in Pyongyang.
“The South and the North also discussed denuclearization steps for the first time,” Moon said of his talks with Kim in a joint press conference held at the North’s state guesthouse Paekhwawon.
“The North has agreed to permanently shut down its Dongchang-ri missile engine testing facility and missile launch pad under the participation of experts from related countries,” the South Korean president said in the press conference, broadcast live in Seoul.Reports yonhapnews.co.kr
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has agreed to permanently dismantle his main nuclear complex at Nyongbyon if the United States takes corresponding measures. This was stated by South Korean President Moon Jae-in today after the two leaders held summit talks in Pyongyang to try to sustain nuclear diplomacy with Washington.
North Korea agrees to allow in international inspectors and dismantle its missile launch pads as two Koreas meet in Pyongyang, according to Moon Jae-in, South Korea‘s president.
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. Moon also said Kim would try to visit Seoul sometime this year.
Washington wants North Korea to outline the entirety of its nuclear program, and its response to today’s joint statement from the Koreas remains to be seen. While the declaration appears to fall short of what Washington wants, President Donald Trump has maintained that he and Kim have a solid relationship and both leaders have expressed interest in meeting again after their June summit in Singapore.
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. Kim and Moon earlier smiled and chatting as they walked down a hallway and into a meeting room to finalize the joint statement, which also said that the leaders would push for a Korean Peninsula without nuclear weapons and to “eliminate all the danger of war.”
South Korea’s ruling party chief on Wednesday proposed holding an inter-Korean parliamentary meeting this year during a meeting in Pyongyang with the North’s legislative leader.
Lee Hae-chan, the chairman of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), made the offer to Kim Yong-nam, the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), who is the North’s ceremonial head of state.
The chiefs of Seoul’s three liberal parties — Lee, Chung Dong-young of the Party for Democracy and Peace and Lee Jeong-mi of the Justice Party — are visiting North Korea accompanying President Moon Jae-in.
The SPA is the highest organ of state power under the North Korean Constitution, but it actually rubber-stamps decisions by the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).
“National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang has already sent a letter about the proposal to hold an inter-Korean parliamentary meeting. We’ll deliver the offer verbally, holding for such a meeting this year,” Lee told pool reporters before the meeting.