Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

North Korea's Kim Jong Un Says He Will Visit Seoul

North Korea's Kim Jong Un Says He Will Visit Seoul

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un held a joint press conference on Wednesday where it was announced that North Korea would agree to disassemble a key missile launch site while allowing for global inspections.

Kim and Moon also agreed to remove all nuclear weapons and other threats to peace in the Korean Peninsula while consenting to take further concrete denuclearization steps if Washington were willing to reciprocate.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pose after signing documents in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Beyond the practical outcomes on economic co-operation and reduction of military tensions, Kim announced he would accept an invitation to visit the South Korean capital, Seoul, and that he and Moon on Thursday would travel to Mount Paektu, which holds a central place in the country's mythology.

According to aides to Mr Moon, Mr Trump has asked the South Korean President to be "chief negotiator" between himself and Mr Kim, after the US President cancelled a trip to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month citing lack of progress in nuclear talks.

A big part of any negotiation to end the war would be the status of the thousands of USA troops stationed in South Korea as part of the two countries' alliance.

The two nations repeated an agreement to work toward denuclearisation and create peace zones along the border, Mr Moon said at a joint briefing with Mr Kim.

"Had the North promised to hand over information on its nuclear arsenal, for example, it would have looked much more encouraging".

The statement was released by Seoul on Wednesday after the Pyongyang summit. 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.

The signing comes during a three day visit to Pyongyang by Mr Moon.

"The world needs to remember that North Korea has other nuclear and missile facilities, and that these concession will not necessarily limit or end their nuclear or missile programs", said Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

It was not clear what Trump meant by nuclear inspections.

The North Korean leader declared his backing for the denuclearisation of the peninsula at his Singapore summit with US President Donald Trump in June. However, a retail shop there sells North Korean caviar at $50 for a 50-gramme jar - a luxury far beyond the reach of most North Koreans.

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.

Kim hailed his relationship with Moon, and said the pair would discuss "various issues.in a frank and open-minded manner".

"Kim is playing this brilliantly: verify that I dismantle a single site that I no longer need anyway while I mass produce the missiles the site helped me develop", said Vipin Narang of MIT.

The two Koreas have had multiple bloody naval clashes along their disputed sea border.

The North and South Korean militaries agreed at working-level military talks earlier in the month that the specific area of maritime peace zone and joint fishing zone will be decided by the Inter-Korean Joint Military Committee.

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