N. Korea’s Kim to visit Seoul

By: AFP September 19,2018 - 09:12 PM

South Korean President Moon Jae-in exchanges documents with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after their summit in Pyongyang.
/AFP

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un agreed to make a historic visit to Seoul soon and close a missile testing site in front of international inspectors at a summit with the South’s President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang Wednesday.

Progress on the key issue of the North’s nuclear arsenal was limited, but the two signed a document to strengthen ties between the two halves of the divided peninsula.

Building on a growing rapprochement, they agreed to create a facility to hold family reunions at any time, work towards joining up road and rail links, and mount a combined bid for the 2032 Olympics.

The agreement “carries the people’s fresh hope and the people’s strong, flaming desire for reunification,” Kim said.

His trip to Seoul would be the first by a Northern leader since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, when hostilities ceased with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving them technically in a state of war.

Moon added that the visit could happen this year and would be a “monumental milestone in inter-Korean relations.”

In their agreement, the North also agreed to “permanently close” a missile engine testing site and launch facility in Tongchang-ri “in the presence of experts from relevant nations.”

Moon, who brokered Kim’s historic summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June, had hoped to bring fresh momentum to stalled talks between his hosts and Washington.

Whether that would happen remained unclear.

In Singapore, Kim declared his backing for denuclearisation of the peninsula but no details were agreed. Washington and Pyongyang have since sparred over what that means and how it will be achieved.

Trump welcomed Wednesday’s declaration, tweeting that Kim had “agreed to allow Nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations” and adding: “Very exciting!”

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TAGS: 2032 Olympics, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-Un, North Korea, Pyongyang

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