In North and South Korea, 2 views of summit — AP Analysis

South Korean leader in Pyongyang to reboot nuclear talks

South Korean leader in Pyongyang to reboot nuclear talks

Kim Jong-un has agreed to allow in worldwide inspectors to observe the "permanent dismantling" of key missile facilities, according to Moon Jae-in, South Korea's president.

"We have agreed to make positive efforts to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that has no nuclear weapons and nuclear threat", Kim said at a press conference with Moon after they signed a joint declaration. Washington is demanding concrete action towards denuclearization before agreeing to key goals of Pyongyang - declaring an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War and easing tough worldwide sanctions.

As part of the accord, North Korea committed to permanently close down the Tongchang-ri engine testing and missile launching site under the attendance of relevant experts, the South Korean President announced.

Kim Jong Un (R), top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and South Korean President Moon Jae-in pose for photos after signing a document in Pyongyang, the DPRK, on September 19, 2018.

Pyongyang also agreed to destroy the Yongbyon nuclear site, which is believed to be used for the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, if the United States takes "corresponding measures".

North Korea would also shut down its Dongchang-ri missile engine testing and launch facility and allow the process to be monitored by worldwide observers.

A commentary in the Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the North's ruling party, repeated the criticism on Tuesday, saying Washington was "totally to blame" for the deadlock.

The Trump administration has sought concessions like a detailed inventory of North Korea's weapons and inspections, as any peace declaration will bolster arguments for easing sanctions and scaling back the USA military presence in South Korea.

"Overall, the third inter-Korean summit will probably have the most concrete outcome and will set the tone for any future summits between Kim and Trump", said Ms Basu.

"It's very much calmed down", added Trump, who a year ago engaged in a war of rhetoric with Kim in which he threatened to destroy North Korea. This could be a reference to Kim's insistence that Trump promised he would declare the Korean War to be officially over.

Later, Moon, who has fervently pursued engagement with the North, made history by addressing an audience of 150,000 people at a performance of the "mass games", North Korea's synchronized gymnastics and dance show.

The visit would mark the first time a North Korean leader visited Seoul since the two countries were split in 1945.

Kim pledged to work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula" during two meetings with Moon earlier this year and at his summit with Trump in Singapore.

"We are not afraid of future challenges".

"But it is no closer to North Korean disarmament", he said. A statement signed by the countries' defense chiefs said the Koreas agreed to withdraw 11 guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone by December with the aim of removing them eventually.

Moon responded by expressing his own thanks to Kim for making a "bold decision" in a New Year's speech to open a new era of detente and send a delegation to the South Korean Winter Olympics in February. Then, Trump is expected to decide whether he will meet with Kim again.

During April's first summit with Moon, Kim said he wanted to invite Moon to the North but that he was "concerned that our transportation (infrastructure) is inadequate".

"We're starting to get some meat on the bones now", said Daniel Tudor, co-author of "North Korean Confidential".

"Under the grand premise, minor disputes and unintended collateral damages like sanctions violations are seen as okay if the progress in inter-Korean relations can lead to progress in denuclearization", Kim said.

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