Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

North Korea's Kim wants another Trump summit to speed denuclearisation

North Korea's Kim wants another Trump summit to speed denuclearisation

"We have agreed to make the Korean peninsula a land of peace free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threats", Kim told reporters during the joint announcement with President Moon.

Mr Pompeo said it was "on the basis of these important commitments" that the USA was "prepared to engage immediately in negotiations".

After the summit, Moon said he will pass along Kim's messages for the USA and the Trump administration.

"The Chinese envy us because they can't go down to the lake from their side but we can", Kim said.

The process had stalled after the historic Singapore summit between Trump and Kim in June, when Kim declared his backing for denuclearisation of the peninsula but no details were agreed.

Mr Pompeo said the aim was denuclearising North Korea "by 2021".

In a written statement, he added, "This will mark the beginning of negotiations to transform U.S".

In another significant gesture, North Korean state-run media reported that Kim agreed with Moon to visit Seoul "in the near future", while releasing the full text of the joint declaration signed by the leaders. The South's presidential office announced Wednesday that the two leaders' visiting Mount Paektu represents the "80 million Korean people combined".

Moon previously told Kim Jong Un he hoped to visit the Mount Paektu and Kaema Plateau during a banquet held during his first meeting with the North Korean leader in April.

Experts were sceptical but the Trump administration immediately welcomed the move, with Pompeo inviting his North Korean counterpart to meet next week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

South Korea's national anthem opens with a reference to the volcano while for the North it is the alleged birthplace of Mr Kim's father and grandfather.

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.

South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo and North Korea's Minister of the People's Armed Forces No Kwang Chol signed an agreement that Seoul says is about reducing military tensions along the border.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was equally enthusiastic, saying he had invited his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho to meet in NY at the UN General Assembly.

Mr Moon said: "Kim Jong-un expressed his wish that he wanted to complete denuclearisation quickly and focus on economic development".

"What the United States needs to be looking for right now are genuine steps from the North Koreans that indicate a willingness to move the process forward".

The catch is that Kim wants the take unspecified "corresponding steps" - a likely reference to North Korea's desire for the declare a formal end to the Korean War, in which fighting ended in 1953 without a peace treaty.

At a performance of the North's spectacular "Mass Games" propaganda display, Moon made an unprecedented address by a South Korean leader to a Northern crowd, telling them that Koreans had lived together for 5 000 years.

However, the joint statement appeared to fall short of the major steps many in Washington have been looking for - such as a commitment by Kim to provide a list of North Korea's nuclear facilities, a solid step-by-step timeline for closing them down, or an agreement to allow worldwide inspectors to assess progress or discover violations.

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