Monday, 10 December, 2018

United States ready to resume North Korea talks, seeks denuclearisation by 2021

North Korea pledges to close down key missile test site North and South Korea Vow to Denuclearize, Co-Host 2032 Olympics
Jeannette Daniel | 21 September, 2018, 02:12

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday wrapped up his three-day visit to North Korea, marked by two meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and signs that Pyongyang and Washington would soon return to the table for denuclearization talks.

If Kim does make the trip, he will be the first North Korean leader to visit Seoul and that would be a landmark moment for inter-Korean relations.

The pledges Kim and Moon made at their third summit this year could inject fresh momentum into the stalled nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang and lay the groundwork for another meeting Kim recently proposed to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Kim was hoping for a second summit with Trump "at an early date", Moon said in Seoul after concluding his three-day trip, adding he would take the United States president a message from Kim when he meets him himself next week.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in traveled to Pyongyang Tuesday to meet again with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un.

Kim's decision to dismantle its key missile site at Dongchang-ri in the presence of worldwide observers is what Pompeo said prompted his decision to make the invitation.

The Council of Foreign Relations' Scott Snyder said an end-of-war declaration in exchange for a declaration of North Korean assets appears to be under consideration.

Agreeing to a declaration on ending the Korean War before North Korea has reduced its offensive threat - including the thousands of artillery guns it has trained on USA ally South Korea - is opposed by many who fear that the North is maneuvering to win a withdrawal of the almost 30,000 US forces in the South.

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Standing side by side with Kim in Pyongyang, Moon expressed hope on Wednesday that talks would resume between North Korea and the US.

The North had put the iconic games, which feature tens of thousands of performers dancing and flipping placards in unison to create giant mosaics and slogans, on a back burner for the past several years, but revived them for this month's celebrations of its 70th founding anniversary. Before this year, two South Korean presidents had visited Pyongyang, hosted by the late Kim Jong Il in 2000 and 2007. On Thursday, Moon announced the two Koreas wish to make a declaration formally concluding the 1950-53 conflict by the end of 2018.

Other than that, however, there are scant details about what Pyongyang's demands are, or what concrete steps it would take to fulfill Kim's commitment to Trump in June.

None of this is to say North Korean denuclearization is an impossibility, or that we may not see advances more dramatic than the liaison office soon.

At a performance of the North's spectacular "Mass Games" propaganda display, Moon made an unprecedented address by a South Korean leader to a Northern crowd, telling them that Koreans had lived together for 5,000 years.

Speaking to the media Wednesday after a brief signing ceremony, Kim and Moon vowed to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula once and for all, something they first committed to at their April summit. He again promised "to facilitate dialogue between North Korea and the United States". He said, "The era of no war has started".

This week's summit comes as Moon is under increasing pressure from Washington to find a path forward in efforts to get Kim to completely - and unilaterally - abandon his nuclear arsenal.

He said this is leading Kim Jong Un to become more ambitious "to achieve more". They also agreed to withdraw 11 guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone by December and to establish a no-fly zone above the military demarcation line that bisects the two Koreas that will apply to planes, helicopters and drones.

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