South Korea's Moon Jae-in attends Pyongyang Mass Games

South Korea's Moon Jae-in attends Pyongyang Mass Games

This week, the Korean leaders advanced the preliminary denuclearization agreements made in Kim and Moon's first two meetings and Trump's Singapore summit, with Kim promising to destroy his government's nuclear missile facilities in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang, under the watchful eye of external experts.

Pyongyang also said it could dismantle its best-known nuclear facility at Yongbyon, if the USA takes "corresponding measures", as Kim and the South Korean president held their third summit this year.

Mr. Kim also promised to visit Seoul, the South Korean capital, which would make him the first North Korean leader to make such a trip.

"There is our old saying that we greet the sun at Paektu, and greet the unification at Halla", Kim's wife, Ri Sol Ju, said.

Then there's the full withdrawal of about 28,500 American forces from South Korea, along with its vast battery of advanced weaponry, possibly even its own nuclear weaponry.

Kim's has previously visited the mountain around major developments in North Korea, such as visiting in late 2013 before he executed top officials including his uncle Jang Song Thaek, and after North Korea's fifth nuclear test in 2016, North Korea watchers say.

Kim promised to accept global inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon, and both leaders vowed to work together to try to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Kim pledged to work toward the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" during two meetings with Moon this year and at his summit with Trump, but talks on how to implement the vague commitments have since faltered.

The hope is that it will kickstart talks between the United States and North Korea which have stalled.

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"But it is no closer to North Korean disarmament", he said.

This was well received by President Trump, but it is a small step towards the goal of denuclearisation.

North Korea will also take additional steps such as closing its main Yongbyon nuclear complex if the United States undertook unspecified reciprocal measures, Moon added. "But we aren't afraid of headwinds because our strength will grow as we overcome each trial based on the strength of our nation". "I'm calm. So we'll see what happens", he said.

A former human rights lawyer, he said in a 2017 book published months before his election as president that he wanted to "finish his life" in his mother's North Korean hometown doing pro-bono service.

But there are those who expressed scepticism over Kim's latest promise, which analysts pointed out falls short of the USA demand of complete abandonment of its nuclear and ballistic missile programme.

The Associated Press reported that Moon said he would convey Kim's desire to formally end the Korean War by the end of the year.

The more eager the United States appears-the more we indulge in imprudent "now or never", "last chance" language-the more likely Kim is to hang on to his nukes to ward off the perceived threat of forcible, external regime change. They also agreed to withdraw 11 guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone by December and to establish a no-fly zone above the military demarcation line that bisects the two Koreas that will apply to planes, helicopters and drones. It also flows from the North's decision to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February, which was regarded as a success for both sides.

Leaders of the two Koreas vowed to open a new chapter in bilateral relations Thursday atop the highest mountain on the peninsula, Mount Paektu, before South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his delegation returned home from a three-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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