Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Pyongyang suspends tour visas ahead of anniversary

Pyongyang suspends tour visas ahead of anniversary

Putin invited Kim and the South's President Moon Jae-in in June to an economic forum in Vladivostok next month, although it is not known whether the North Korean leader responded to the invitation.

But the North Korean leadership has reason to act with urgency on the issue of an official peace treaty.

Participants wave South Korean national flags during a ceremony marking the 73rd anniversary of liberation from Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule following the end of World War Two, on Liberation Day in Seoul, South Korea, August 15, 2018.

Moon proposed creating a "northeast Asian railroad community" between the two Koreas, the USA and four unnamed parties, in a speech marking the 73rd anniversary of the end of Japanese colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula.

He also expressed concern to not get sidetracked by other players in the security of the peninsula.

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North Korea is known to want a peace deal ending the 1950 Korean War, and the U.S. is seen as resistant to the idea.

At the historic first summit between Moon and the North's leader Kim Jong Un in Panmunjom in April they agreed the South's president would visit Pyongyang during the autumn.

Moon and Kim agreed during their first summit to push for a declaration of an end to the Korean War together with the United States this year, but Washington has said it would only be possible after the North abandons its nuclear program.

After peace is established, Moon said, "special unification economic zones" could be built in border regions to help support small and medium-sized businesses. He said good relations between the two Koreas would be the "driving force " toward the denuclearization of the peninsula.

Moon and Kim agreed at a summit in April to work towards formally ending the Korean War, suspended by an armistice agreement in 1953, by the end of the year.

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In his opening statement, the North's chief delegate Ri Son Gwon said: "As the Pyongyang meeting of the leaders of the north and south is being discussed, I think talking about the issue will provide answers to the wishes of the people". "I hope North Korea's complete denuclearisation and the United States' corresponding measures will be swiftly pursued", Moon added.

The date of the third meeting between the North and South Korea has yet to be announced.

North Korea's top university is building a high-tech development center, according to Pyongyang's state media. The 54-year-old former CIA Director has indicated that the only acceptable outcome for the United States out of all of these negotiations is the "complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korea peninsula".

But without progress in the North's denuclearization, there isn't much Seoul can do on its own to take inter-Korean relations to the next level.

Moon, who was elected to office in 2017, has been an advocate of closer relations with North Korea in an attempt to bring peace to the peninsula.

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