President Moon arrives in North Korea for talks

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 19, 2018

During their motor parade through Pyongyang's landmark Ryomyong Street, a new residential district launched past year under Kim's initiative to modernize the city, Kim and Moon briefly stepped out of the vehicle to greet and take flowers from members of the crowd.

Moon brought with him to Pyongyang an army of over a dozen South Korean business leaders, including top executives from electronics companies like Samsung and LG, despite unprecedently severe sanctions on North Korea's economy.

Moon and Kim resumed their talks on Wednesday at around 10 a.m. (0100 GMT), this time without any other attendees.

The institution was sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council a year ago as part of global efforts to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs by drying up its revenue sources.

Mr Kim pledged to work towards the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" during his first meeting with Mr Moon in the Demilitarised Zone that separates the two Koreas in April, and at his summit with Mr Trump in June.

But efforts towards denuclearisation between the North and the United States had recently hit a deadlock and there's hope the South will act as a mediator.

Pyongyang has given no indication it is willing to give up its nuclear arsenal unilaterally and is seeking relief from tough worldwide sanctions. There were few indications as to whether Mr Moon was succeeding in his goal of finding common ground between Mr Kim and President Trump, who have made little progress three months after a US-North Korea summit meeting in Singapore.

President Trump has mentioned the possibility of a second in-person meeting in the future to discuss an end to North Korea's illegal nuclear weapons program and the White House claimed that Kim sent a letter to Trump requesting such a meeting.

Mr Kim said he had promised his Southern counterpart he would "visit Seoul in the near future" which would be the first visit of a leader from the North to the South's capital.

"What we're trying to achieve is irreversible, lasting peace". "This process has been based on Chairman Kim's decision, and I express my respect for Chairman Kim's determination to open a new era", Moon told reporters.

This will be a likely theme when Mr Pompeo hosts a meeting of the UN Security Council on North Korea on Sept 27 on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly.

"If and when" they reach an agreement, they would announce it jointly but not take questions, he said.

Pyongyang says it has destroyed its main nuclear and missile engine test site, and has halted atomic and ballistic missile tests, but United States officials and analysts believe it is continuing to work on its weapons plans clandestinely.

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.

In previous, failed talks, North Korea has said it could consider giving up its nuclear program if the United States provided security guarantees by removing troops from South Korea and withdrawing its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from the South and Japan.

"If North Korea-U.S. dialogue is restarted after this visit, it would have much significance in itself", Moon said before his departure.

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