Moon says he and Kim will discuss ways to move denuclearization forward
Moon says he and Kim will discuss ways to move denuclearization forward
The Latest: South Korea president leaves for North Korea
18 September, 2018, 13:56
Mr Moon and his wife, Kim Jung-sook, were greeted by Mr Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju.
Moon was expected to have talks with Kim on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Moon's chief of staff. Moon and Kim were also expected to hold a joint news conference on Wednesday if their two sets of summit meetings go smoothly.
A top South Korean official played down the chances of a breakthrough on North Korea's denuclearization during this week's inter-Korean summit, saying Monday that it's "difficult to have any optimistic outlook" but also noted that Seoul would push the US for "reciprocal" moves in stalled nuclear negotiations.
Moon will be accompanied by several business tycoons - including Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong and the vice chairman of Hyundai Motor - and is scheduled to visit key sites in Pyongyang with his delegation.
"Expectations should remain focused on the inter-Korea relationship and some of the items within Moon's control in this regard - including a likely pledge to increase the frequency of high-level diplomacy and communication on various levels", said J. Berkshire Miller, a senior visiting fellow with the Japan Institute of International Affairs in Tokyo.
National Security Advisor John Bolton has referred to a North Korean denuclearization process that would take only one year, and Pompeo is reported to have requested that North Korea send at least 60 percent of its nuclear warheads and fissile material out of the country as evidence of commitment to denuclearization. The location has yet to be released although South Korean Presidential Chief of Staff lm Jong-seok expressed hope it would be a restaurant frequented by residents, since President Moon likes to visit local restaurants on his travels.
The acrimonious meeting of the Security Council was called by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who accused Russia of pressuring independent United Nations experts to alter a report on implementation of sanctions against North Korea that she said contained "evidence of multiple Russian sanctions violations".
While it is still uncertain whether the U.S. would accept the idea of "declaration-for-declaration exchange", Kim of Kyungnam University said it would help to have North Korea and the USA "almost simultaneously declare" North Korea's nuclear arsenal and the end of the Korean War. Moon is to return to Seoul on Thursday.
Asan Institute for Political Studies Visiting Research Fellow Cheon Seong Whun told VOA, "It's not crystal clear that Kim Jong Un and [the] North Korean regime is willing to give up all those nuclear weapons and programs". Currently, all major joint projects between the Koreas are stalled because of US -led sanctions.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is greeted with smiles and hugs by the North's leader Kim Jong-un ahead of a crucial summit over denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and the prospect of officially ending the 1950-53 Korean War.
Now, as nuclear talks between the US and North Korea stall, conservatives feel vindicated and emboldened.
Moon said he would seek to talk the issue over "candidly" with Kim "to seek common ground between the United States' call for denuclearization measures and the North's demand for corresponding steps for security guarantees and an end of hostility". Talks between Washington and Pyongyang have sputtered in recent weeks, raising doubts about Kim's supposed willingness to relinquish his nuclear arsenal and putting the pressure on Moon to broker progress once again.
The welcome ceremony for Jae-in at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport, in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 18, 2018. Military officials have discussed possibly disarming a jointly controlled area at the Koreas' shared border village, removing front-line guard posts and halting hostile acts along their sea boundary. Most major detente projects with North Korea started by his liberal predecessors during a 1998-2008 "Sunshine Era" were suspended after conservatives took power.
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