Wednesday, 20 February, 2019


North and South Korea: Kim and Moon hail new future

Pool  Getty Images AsiaPac Pool Getty Images AsiaPac
Bennie Garza | 19 September, 2018, 15:56

On the front, there was a photo of the two leaders shaking hands and hugging each other upon meeting at Pyongyang International Airport on Tuesday, with more inside of them parading together through the streets of the city, enjoying a concert and toasting at a banquet.

The North Korean leader declared his backing for the denuclearisation of the peninsula at his Singapore summit with US President Donald Trump in June.

The North's offer to take additional denuclearization steps despite any signs of reward from the U.S.is apparently aimed at restarting its denuclearization talks with the U.S.

North Korea was expected to hold a huge mass games spectacle later in the day, with Moon attending an event expected to draw about 150,000 spectators, Seoul said.

North Korea has consistently refused to give up its nuclear arsenal unilaterally, and stressed that the United States should first agree to a formal declaration ending the war.

Washington wants North Korea to outline the entirety of its nuclear programme, and its response to Wednesday's joint statement from the Koreas remains to be seen.

Possibly signaling a breakthrough, Trump welcomed the outcome of the inter-Korean summit in a Twitter message.

Trump was enthusiastic about the summit, declaring that Kim "has agreed to allow Nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations".

"We are now cooperating within the framework of global sanctions", Yoon Young-chan, South Korea's presidential senior secretary for public communications said this week.

Interested in North Korea?

Radio Free Asia, citing the head of a Japanese media outlet, reported Tuesday that North Korea has been repairing roads around the 2,744-meter volcanic mountain, and the region including the China-North Korea border has "entered a state of alert". Moon explained later that the visit will happen this year unless there are any unexpected obstacles. No, no, it's the death rattle of the once formidable USA -led pressure campaign against the North as it crumbles under the false optimism of inter-Korean engagement.

"President Moon accepted Chairman Kim Jong-un's request to visit Paektusan (with him)", Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, said at the main press center in Pyongyang. Kim called the agreement "a leap forward" toward peace between the two historically bitter rivals. 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.

The leaders agreed to set up a buffer zone in the Yellow Sea to suspend firing of guns and maritime drills, as well as a no-fly zone in border areas to prevent accidental plane clashes.

The two countries will also seek to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics.

The two leaders also agreed to connect two rail lines along the east and west side of the peninsula, re-establishing connections between the two foes.

Following the release of the agreement, the South's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said the two sides will remove 11 guard posts located within one kilometer of eachother by the end of this year.

Following their summit and joint press conference, Moon and Kim continued their dialogue over lunch at Pyongyang's famous cold noodle restaurant, Okryukwan, according to officials in Seoul.

But she warned that joint declaration signed in Pyongyang showed Kim had not budged, and is waiting for Trump to make the first move.

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.

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