Conciliatory mood prevails in Pyongyang ahead of inter-Korean summit

Conciliatory mood prevails in Pyongyang ahead of inter-Korean summit

Also on Friday, a liaison office aimed at keeping Pyongyang and Seoul in constant contact with each other opened in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, the South's Unification Ministry said.

North Korea, which marked the 70th anniversary of the country's founding last Sunday, held several related events in Pyongyang, such as a military parade, mass games and a torch march.

Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification, said during the ceremony that the office would help the Koreas exchange "candid conversations" and further build up their ties, according to South Korean media pool reports from the site.

PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In unveil a special dessert during a banquet at the House of Peace in the border village of Panmunjeom, April 27, 2018.

"From today, South and North Korea can directly discuss issues related to the improvement of inter-Korean relations and peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year". But those channels have been often suspended when tensions rose over North Korea's nuclear program.

"U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on September 13 said Russian Federation pressured the independent sanctions monitors to amend a report that was eventually submitted to the Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee last month" the news agency reads.

"It has reached the point where the South Koreans are determined to press ahead".

The U.S. said Russian Federation and China both informed the sanctions committee that they were supplying refined products to North Korea.

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He said President Moon Jae-in would be briefed on the content of the discussions.

Moon's trip will mark his third summit with Kim this year after he orchestrated a rapid diplomatic thaw on the peninsula and brokered June's Singapore summit between the North Korean leader and US President Donald Trump.

Trump thanked Kim on Twitter, saying, "This is a big and very positive statement from North Korea".

Also during the working-level meeting, Seoul is likely to push for the establishment of a joint military committee and a direct communication line between the military leaders of the two Koreas, which will probably be included in the military agreement, a source said.

But Moon's desire to advance ties with the North despite little progress on denuclearisation has raised alarm bells in Washington, with US officials worrying it could weaken Pyongyang's resolve to disarm.

USA documents sent to the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea and obtained by AP cited 89 instances between January 1 and May 30 in which North Korean tankers likely delivered refined products "illicitly procured" via transfers from other ships at sea. However, with Seoul wary of angering Washington over breaches of UN Security Council sanctions, there is no indication that is about to happen.

Seoul Defense Dialogue in Seoul, South Korea.

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