North Korea's Kim Jong Un says he will visit Seoul

Korean defense chiefs sign ‘military pact’ after Kim & Moon adopt denuclearization roadmap

KBS via Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to permanently dismantle his main nuclear complex at Nyongbyon if the U.S. takes corresponding measures, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday after the two leaders held summit talks in Pyongyang.

Moon and Kim spoke at a news conference after signing a joint statement following their second day of summit talks in Pyongyang.

They signed the agreement in front of members of Moon's entourage and North Korean officials during a press conference broadcast live from the Paekhwawon State Guesthouse, where a second round of summit talks were held Wednesday morning.

As a clear sign of mutual trust, the Pyongyang military agreement also calls for the withdrawal of soldiers from the demilitarized zone and disarming the servicemen keeping watch at Panmunjom border village.

As had been widely anticipated in the lead-up to the summit, the two sides announced joint measures to reduce and manage tensions along the disputed Northern Limit Line and along the Demilitarised Zone.

The September Pyongyang declaration covered a number of topics.

The latest pledges by Kim come days before Moon meets with Trump in NY on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly next week.

"As President Moon announced today, the North has made a decision to terminate the Tongchang-ri missile engine testing site and a launch pad there and allow an inspection by worldwide experts, including those from the U.S".

He said he was also willing to close the country's main nuclear complex - but only if the United States took unspecified reciprocal action. The Pyongyang Declaration was not it. He also offered to shut down the country's most important nuclear facility - if the United States offers "corresponding measures" in return.

"The two Koreas agreed to jointly take part in global competitions, including the 2020 Summer Olympics, and to seek to jointly host the 2032 Summer Olympics", said the joint declaration signed by the two leaders on the second day of the three-day summit. The signed agreement stated that Kim would travel to Seoul "as soon as possible", something no North Korean leader has ever done.

Moon meanwhile told reporters that the neighbors finally managed to agree to "specific denuclearization steps". He expected the agreements signed Wednesday would facilitate dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.

Experts said it was far from clear that Kim had made concessions that would make a summit an attractive proposition for the US administration, but Trump himself reacted positively, calling the news "very exciting" on Twitter. Part of those efforts includes Seoul hosting the Pyongyang Art Company next month and both nations participating in global sporting competitions in 2020.

The summit is also crucial for Kim - not only to improve inter-Korean relations but also to lay a foundation for future economic relations with South Korea for economic development for the North.

In order to prevent the influx and spread of disease, Seoul and Pyongyang will enhance the cooperation in the prevention of epidemics, hygiene, and medical care.

But there was no mention of North Korea producing an inventory of its nuclear stockpiles and nuclear-related facilities in the joint statement or at the press briefing, which the US sees as a vital step toward denuclearization. Seoul and Pyongyang are also to develop a western Special Economic Zone and an eastern Special Tourism Zone.

The Korean leaders' surprisingly substantive summit announcement is a huge step toward a durable peace on the Korean Peninsula - and a Nobel Peace Prize for Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in. The North has long seen the USA military's large footprint in South Korea as a direct threat. It's expected the 150,000 person capacity stadium will be filled for a one-hour performance entitled "Brilliant Fatherland".

"The world is going to see how this divided nation is going to bring about a new future on his own", Kim said, to applause from those gathered.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's promise to visit Seoul in coming months is the latest in a series of surprises and departures from the past that appear to show he's different from his late father, the previous leader.

About 50 in the South Korean delegation, which consists of business leaders, politicians and major cultural, sports and religious figures, arrived in Pyongyang with Moon.

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