Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Kim Jong Un wants another meeting with Trump soon

Kim Jong Un wants another meeting with Trump soon

He cited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's decision to "complete the previously announced dismantlement of the Tongchang-ri site in the presence of United States and global inspectors as a step towards the final fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea".

The catch is that Kim wants the take unspecified "corresponding steps" - a likely reference to North Korea's desire for the declare a formal end to the Korean War, in which fighting ended in 1953 without a peace treaty.

President Moon will wrap up his final full day in Pyongyang, watching North Korea's spectacular "Mass Games" outdoor propaganda show.

Mr Pompeo said he had invited North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho to meet in NY next week where they are both due to attend the United Nations gathering of world leaders. Compared to the vague language of their two earlier summits, Kim and Moon seem to have agreed on an ambitious program meant to tackle soaring tensions past year that had many fearing war as the North tested a string of increasingly powerful weapons.

An end-of-war declaration would not affect the presence of USA troops and the United Nations Command in South Korea, Moon said, adding that Kim shared his view.

Historians say the 5,000-year timeline of Korean history is a groundless claim that became part of South Korea's official narrative after being inserted in school textbooks during the rule of former dictator Chun Doo-hwan.

Mr Trump has questioned the rationale and cost of keeping 28,500 USA troops based in South Korea.

"South and North Korea agreed on a denuclearisation plan for the first time".

Some senior South Korean officials accompanying Moon suggested inviting Kim and his wife to Mount Halla, the highest mountain and a scenic tourist resort in the South.

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"Everything that's out there now is conditional on USA actions that would reduce the pressure on the North to cooperate or (is) filled with loopholes and exit ramps", added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. There will also be resistance to rolling back sanctions adopted by the US unilaterally and through the United Nations without significant progress toward denuclearization and a clearer idea of exactly what North Korea has in its nuclear arsenal and where all its facilities are located.

Mr Pompeo said the aim was denuclearising North Korea "by 2021".

Trump himself, who is eager for results in his signature foreign policy, sounded open to considering reciprocal steps, telling reporters Wednesday: "We'll see what he's looking at".

"We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat", Kim said.

To achieve this, the North also agreed to "permanently dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site and launch platform [also known as the Sohae Satellite Launch Station or the Tongchang-ri Missile and Space Launch Facility] under the observation of experts from relevant countries".

South Korea hosted the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, with athletes from the two countries forming a unified team.

"The statement clearly implies that inter-Korean summits and theatrical promises to dismantle the odd facility simply can't substitute for a negotiating process on the nuclear issue", said the Asia Society Policy Institute's Daniel Russel.

Kim Jong-un, his North Korean counterpart, watched from a distance.

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