Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Kim Jong-un to visit Seoul after latest visit with Moon Jae

Kim Jong-un to visit Seoul after latest visit with Moon Jae

Almost 3,000 journalists watched her giving directions to South Korean President Moon Jae-in himself as the two Korean leaders stood on stage facing North Korean honor guards.

Mr Moon announced that Kim would dismantle the Tongchang-ri facility, also known as the Sohae Satellite Launching Station - a well-known site associated with various aspects of the country's space and ballistic missile programs.

The invitation to allow foreign experts to observe the destruction of the nuclear test site is a real concession by the North, which only invited foreign journalists when they blew up nuclear test site tunnels in May. They also agreed to withdraw 11 guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone along the 38th parallel that acts as the de facto border between the two sides, who remain technically at war more than six decades after the Korean conflict ended without a peace treaty.

"Moon and I have agreed to make the Korean peninsula a region without nuclear weapons, nor nuclear threats", Kim said.

The Olympic games have previously been to the Korean peninsula, all in the South.

Behind the scenes of Pyongyang's grand welcome ceremony for a South Korean delegation Tuesday was the mysterious Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un. The facilities were a key test centre for its intercontinental ballistic missiles created to reach the United States.

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

Kim and Moon are meeting in the North Korean capital for a three-day summit, their third this year, amid a diplomatic impasse between Pyongyang and Washington.

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The question is whether it will be enough for U.S. President Donald Trump to pick up where Moon has left off.

Moon insisted the North's agreement also marked the first time for the Koreas to discuss detailed steps to denuclearization.

The two Koreas will under Wednesday's agreement "establish a maritime peace zone and a pilot joint fishing zone in the West Sea" and "fully guarantee the safety of personnel and vessels".

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

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk together at the Paekhwawon State Guesthouse in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018.

It was not clear what Trump meant by nuclear inspections.

North Korea has embarked on an unprecedented series of meetings this year with both the South and the US.

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.

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Given present relations, the latter would present nearly insurmountable cross-border customs, immigration, communications and transport challenges - but would certainly segue with Moon's publicly declared hopes of linking the Northern and Southern cross-border road and rail networks.

The joint project to retrieve war remains in the DMZ is set to take place in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province, from April 1, 2019, to October 31 following the removal of landmines and other explosives later this year.

The leaders of the two Koreas have been meeting in Pyongyang in an attempt to push forward their peace process, as well as advance dialogue with the United States.

Kim and Moon also agreed to "normalize the Kaesong Industrial complex and Kumgang tourism project as soon as the conditions allow".

As a first step, the North wants the United States to declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

The pledge to close Yongbyong is also a clever play by North Korea.

As part of the military agreement, the neighbors will halt border drills from November 1, Yonhap reports.

Talks in Pyongyang built on a growing rapprochement, with the two leaders agreeing Wednesday to hold family reunions on a regular basis, work towards joining up road and rail links, and mount a combined bid for the 2032 Olympics.

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