North Korea to invite foreign experts to permanently scrap missile sites

Pauline Gross
September 19, 2018

The two Koreas are also working to adopt a separate military accord aimed at defusing tensions and preventing armed clashes between the old foes, which are technically still at war because the 1950-1953 Korean War ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.

US President Donald Trump welcomed developments on Wednesday at an inter-Korean summit in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang as "very exciting".

President Moon was greeted by thousands of cheering North Koreans today as he arrived in Pyongyang for a crucial summit meeting with Kim Jong-un aimed at reviving the faltering progress towards denuclearisation.

"While Moon has expressed his desire to agree on a concrete plan on denuclearization, we believe that the two nations still differ on this concept", said Anwita Basu, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

At the start of their meeting Tuesday, Kim thanked Moon for brokering the June summit with Trump.

North Korea has agreed to allow independent experts to inspect the dismantling of a key missile site and a nuclear research facility, in what South Korean president Moon Jae-in has called the first specific steps for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The two countries also said they hoped to submit a joint bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics and said they would work to connect cross-border railways and roads.

They agreed that Kim would visit the South in the near future.

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In a performance for the anniversary, a giant photo of Moon and Kim shaking hands at their first summit in April was projected onto one side of the stands in Pyongyang's 150,000-seat May Day Stadium.

But Kim did not mention denuclearisation at any point in his remarks, and it was Moon who communicated the North's plans to close the Yongbyon nuclear reactor as well as shut missile test pads in front of "international experts". 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 given no indication it is willing to give up its nuclear arsenal unilaterally and is seeking relief from crippling global sanctions.

Seoul officials hope Moon will be able to convince Trump to restart nuclear talks with Pyongyang, after he canceled a trip by his secretary of state to Pyongyang last month, citing lack of progress.

North Korea says Kim's grandfather and father were born at Mount Baektu, a centerpiece of the North's idolization and propaganda campaign to highlight the ruling family's sacred bloodline. "South and North Korea for the first time agreed on measures for denuclearisation".

North Korean Defense Minister No Kwang Chol and South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo signed a military agreement to implement the Panmunjom agreement.

"North-South relations have now entered a new era", President Moon tweeted earlier.

Other reports by GizPress

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