See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

-UPDATE- Kim meets Moon in Pyongyang

The North Korean leader says he expects progress at next summit with Trump and agrees to denuclearisation of Korean peninsula.


Written by

Updated: September 19, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday pledged to visit Seoul and reaffirmed commitment to giving up his country’s nuclear program, vowing to take additional steps for denuclearization, with conditions.

The Pyongyang Joint Declaration of September 2018 signed by the two leaders after their second round of summit talks at Paekhwawon Guest House stated that North Korea would permanently dismantle its missile engine test site and missile launch pad in Dongchangri under the observation of experts from related countries.

National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon from the South and the Vice Chairman of North Korea‘s ruling Workers’ Party Kim Yong-chul were in attendance at Wednesday‘s closed door meeting.

The declaration also stated that the North is willing to take additional steps, such as permanent dismantling of the Yongbyun nuclear facility, if the US takes reciprocal measures in the spirit of the June 12 declaration between the US and North Korea.

The two leaders vowed to continue working with the US and the international community to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Noting that Moon will meet with US President Donald Trump Monday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Yoon Young-chan, Blue House secretary for public communication, said that the South Korean leader will work closely with the US for subsequent steps in the denuclearization process

Trump welcomed the results in a Twitter message, noting that Kim has agreed to allow “nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations, and to permanently dismantle a test site and launch pad in the presence of international experts.” It is unclear, however, what Trump meant by “nuclear inspection” as the term was not included in the Pyongyang Declaration.

One of South Korea’s main goals entering the summit had been to spur the stalled denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

“We believe that the talks between North Korea and the US could be accelerated based on the results of this summit, and we also hope that the talks will be held as soon as possible,” said National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong. He added that a North Korean leader publicly expressing his intent to permanently dismantle a symbolic facility like Yongbyun has a significant meaning.

In addition, South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo and his counterpart No Kwang-chul signed a military agreement that centers on preventing border conflicts. South Korean presidential office called it “a de facto non-aggression pact,” which includes establising a buffer zone and a no-fly zone in the Demilitarized Zone.

“We’ve adopted a military agreement to end the decades of desperate, tragic history of hostility (between the Koreas), and pledged to make Joseon (Korean) peninsula a land of peace without nuclear weapons or nuclear threats,” said North Korea’s Kim after signing the Pyongyang Declaration.

He went on to say that he had pledged to visit Seoul “in the near future.” Moon elaborated by saying that this would take place within the year, barring unforeseen developments.

No North Korean leader has ever visited Seoul, though there had been talk of a visit by Kim’s father, former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, in 2000.

The two sides also agreed to make a joint bid for the 2032 Summer Games, along with joint participation in international sporting events.

The Pyongyang Declaration also includes a Pyongyang art troupe’s performance in Seoul in October.

South and North Korea pledged to work on measures for “balanced development” of the economies, namely stepping up cross-border exchanges and economic cooperation.

They agreed to kick off joint projects to connect railways and roads across the border within the year, to resume Kumgangsan tours and to reopen the Kaesong industrial park, under the “right conditions,” mindful of economic sanctions in place against North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The Park Geun-hye administration shut down the Kaesong complex in the North Korean border town of Kaesong in February 2016, as a punitive action against Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile provocations. The Kumgangsan tours were suspended in 2008 after a South Korean tourist was killed by a North Korean soldier.

Humanitarian efforts for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War were also included in the statement, with the Koreas agreeing to open a permanent facility on Kumgangsan for family reunions in the near future. Other measures include holding video-based reunions and the exchange of video messages between separated family members.

Among other agreements included in the Pyongyang Declaration are: working to create special economic zones; cross-border cooperation for preservation of the natural habitat in the North; and cooperation in the medical field for prevention and containment of infectious diseases.

Kim credited Moon for improving inter-Korea and Washington-Pyongyang relations.

“President Moon has ignited the spark of the historic talks between Joseon (North Korea) and the US. It is no exaggeration to say that the Joseon-US meeting is all thanks to President Moon. We are expecting a stabilization of the region and more progress (in the summit),” said Kim.

Moon thanked Kim, his wife Ri Sol-ju and the citizens of Pyongyang for the warm welcome.

“Spring in Panmunjom has led to the autumn in Pyongyang. We met three times in the past five months. And looking back, there was the PyeongChang Winter Games; before that, Chairman Kim’s New Year speech and his bold decision. The entire process was possible through Kim’s resolve, and I’d like to express my gratitude for that resolve to begin a new era,” he said.

Following the summit, the South Korean first couple attended the Samjiyeon Orchestra’s performance at the Pyongyang Grand Theater, after which they and the entire entourage attended a reception dinner at Mokran House. The first couple are staying at Paekhwawon State Guest House, which is typically reserved for only the highest VIPs.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

Huawei CEO holds dialogue with US tech experts

The company has come under pressure after the US singled the company out for possible espionage for Beijing. Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei had a discussion with two American technological gurus, George Gilder and Nicholas Negroponte, at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen on Monday. Ren said he believes the artificial intelligence industry is a driving force for human society, and people need to be inclusive and not regard AI as “negative” future technology. Ren said that Huawei has been committed to business ethics and compliance with laws and regulations since the company was started. “Huawei didn’t, and w


By China Daily
June 19, 2019

Diplomacy

Will Xi’s Pyongyang visit create momentum for stalled nuclear talks?

Experts suggest China could use nuclear issue as leverage to resolve trade war with US. With Chinese President Xi Jinping set to visit North Korea this week, all eyes are on whether his visit will create new momentum to move forward stalled denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang. State-operated media outlets in China and North Korea announced Monday night that the Chinese president is scheduled to make a state visit to North Korea on Thursday and Friday. According to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, the two leaders will discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula and push for progress. Scheduled just a week before the Group of 20


By The Korea Herald
June 19, 2019

Diplomacy

Hong Kong leader apologises for protest response

I offer my most sincere apology to all the people of Hong Kong: Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam offered her personal apology to every Hong Konger for her inadequacies in handling the extradition Bill saga, saying the incident has made her realise she needs to do better, to hear people out and to work harder to balance the view of the people. Mrs Lam told a press conference, which started at 4pm on Tuesday (June 18) and lasted for nearly an hour, that she will not restart the legislative process of the extradition Bill as long as the conflict in society is not resolved. “I have heard you loud and clear and have reflected deeply on what has transpired,” Mrs Lam said.


By The Straits Times
June 19, 2019

Diplomacy

Refugees repatriation discussed with Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and UN

The meeting took place in Pakistan. The Quadripartite Steering Committee or Q-4 — which consists of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) — met on Monday to discuss voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees and sustainable reintegration and assistance to host countries. The meeting chaired by Minister for States and Frontier Regions Shehryar Khan Afridi was attended by Syed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, Minister of Refugees and Repatriation of Afghanistan; Hossein Zolfaghari, Iranian Deputy Minister of Interior for Security and Disciplinary Affairs and Indrika Ratwatte, Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNHCR. The meeting called on the international community to support host countries and communities and provide development assistance to put an end to a future displacement of Afghans. All parities reaffirmed their commitment


By Dawn
June 18, 2019

Diplomacy

Include Rohingya in talks on repatriation: rights groups

Asean urged to use its influence on Myanmar to seek accountability for atrocities and ensure their safe return. Human rights organisations are calling on Asean to pressure Myanmar into allowing the ethnic group to participate in the process of their safe return. Asean could persuade Myanmar to take effective steps to improve the situation on the ground first, said Laura Haigh, a researcher on Myanmar affairs at Amnesty International. “Asean has failed to respond to the scale and gravity of the crisis, and this marks a stain on the bloc’s credibility,” Haigh told The Nation yesterday. She added that Asean should use its influence to push for a full and unfettered humanitarian access to Myanmar’s Rakhine state, hold them accountable for t


By The Nation (Thailand)
June 18, 2019

Diplomacy

Xi to pay state visit to DPRK at end of week

Kim Jong-un invited the Chinese leader ahead of G20 summit. President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on Thursday and Friday, the first by a top leader of China in 14 years. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, was invited by Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, for the visit, the first since Xi became the CPC’s top leader at the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012. The visit comes as the two countries embrace the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year. It will be crucially significant to bilateral ties as it will build on the past and usher in the future, said Song Tao, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, at a news briefing on Monday. During the visit, Xi and Kim will reflect


By China Daily
June 18, 2019