N Korea may dismantle nuke facility if U.S. takes reciprocal action - Moon

Aaron Brown
September 20, 2018

Kim and Moon embraced at Pyongyang's worldwide airport - where the North Korean leader had supervised missile launches past year as tensions mounted.

The outcome will also be a litmus test for another meeting Mr Kim has recently proposed to Mr Trump. Few expected the promise would be honored by a leader who was so reclusive that his train trips to neighboring China and Russian Federation made huge headlines in the outside world.

The United States is ready to engage in talks with North Korea "immediately", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, with the aim of completing North Korea's denuclearization by January 2021. As Inter-Korean exchanges pick up speed, a key goal for Moon will be to sell the rapid rapprochement to his own people, with many remaining sceptical of pandering to a brutal dictator.

At the news conference in Pyongyang, Kim said he and Moon had "made a firm commitment to exert active efforts to make the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons and nuclear threat and turn it into a land of peace".

"If we look at progress in terms of speed, denuclearisation is going less than 30km/h, and inter-Korean relations are going over 100km/h", said Nam Sung-wook, a professor of North Korean studies at Korea University.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced Wednesday he has agreed to allow global inspectors to observe the dismantlement of facilities key to Pyongyang's missile program.

South and North Korea want to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics, leaders of the rival nations announced on Wednesday.

Soon after Moon arrived in North Korea on Tuesday, Kim expressed optimism about the future of the negotiations, thanking his counterpart for helping bring about his June summit meeting with Trump in Singapore.

Kim shattered that image with a surprise outreach and charm offensive that began with his New Year's address.

The South Korean leader is now expected to outline the details of his discussion with Chairman Kim to President Donald Trump during bilateral meetings next week.

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It also led to rapid improvement in the North's long-strained ties with China.

Kim sent his sister Kim Yo Jong to Pyeongchang as his personal envoy, and the two leaders have since met three times as part of an ongoing diplomatic rapprochement.

The joint announcement made Wednesday concludes scheduled talks between the two leaders, although there will be additional cultural exchanges into the evening and Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Kim greeted Moon at the Pyongyang airport with a spectacle.

"Mr. President visits many countries around the world". Seoul said Moon would make a short speech.

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It's not easy for the leader of a country, especially a totalitarian nation like the North, to acknowledge the shortfalls of his nation. However, a retail shop there sells North Korean caviar at $50 for a 50-gramme jar - a luxury far beyond the reach of most North Koreans.

Moon, meanwhile, achieved an important objective by securing concessions from Kim related to limiting his country's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

In the 30-minute edit of Moon's first two days as Kim's special guest, there was no mention of the United States, or denuclearization, or Trump.

North and South Korea will bid jointly for the 2032 Olympics, they announced Wednesday, in an ambitious plan built on hopes of deepening a diplomatic thaw catalysed by this year's Winter Games in the South. He said his "heart is very full today". Create rail and road links between North and South within the next year.

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