A H KhanPublished:
2018-09-19 08:40:43 BdST
S. Korea’s Moon seeks nuclear agreement with Kim at summit
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North’s leader Kim Jong Un opened a new round of talks at a summit in Pyongyang on Wednesday with the North Korean nuclear arsenal high on the agenda, but Seoul warned they may not reach an agreement.
Moon is on a three-day trip to the North Korean capital for his third
summit with Kim this year, hoping to reboot stalled denuclearisation talks
between his hosts and the United States.
After the high symbolism of the two Korean leaders’ first meeting in April
in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula, and Kim’s historic
summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June, pressure is
mounting for more substantive progress.
In Singapore, Kim declared his backing for the denuclearisation of the
peninsula, but no details were agreed and Washington and Pyongyang have since
sparred over what that means and how it will be achieved.
Washington is pressing for the North’s “final, fully verified
denuclearisation”, while Pyongyang wants a formal declaration that the 1950-
53 Korean War is over and has condemned “gangster-like” demands for it to
give up its weapons unilaterally.
Asked if any deal on denuclearisation had been struck, Moon’s spokesman
Yoon Young-chan said: “It’s difficult to say at this moment that the two
leaders have reached any agreement.” They had “frank and sincere” discussions
after Moon arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday, Yoon told reporters in Seoul,
adding: “They still need a lot more talks.”
“If and when” they reach an agreement, they would announce it jointly but
not take questions, he said.
Wednesday’s talks took place at the Paekhwawon official guesthouse on the
outskirts of Pyongyang. The two leaders were shown on television walking down
a long corridor talking together, followed by their wives, before entering a
room where the cameras could not follow.
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