Two Koreas agree to hold September summit in Pyongyang: Seoul

Geraldine Edwards
September 7, 2018

The announcement of the September 18-20 summit - the third between the North's leader Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in this year - comes as U.S. efforts to dismantle Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal have stalled.

Trump responded Thursday by tweeting, "Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims 'unwavering faith in President Trump.' Thank you to Chairman Kim".

Kim restated his commitment to denuclearizing the Korean peninsula Thursday.

Chung Eui-yong (R), head of the presidential National Security Office, holds a press conference at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on September 6, 2018 on the outcome of his one-day trip to North Korea the previous day as a special envoy of South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

KCNA said Kim and the South Korean envoys reached a "satisfactory agreement" over his planned summit with Moon.

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Now, the South Korean envoy has a message for Trump from Kim, who apparently described the steps his country has made toward denuclearization as "very significant and meaningful", Yonhap reported.

Chung said Kim showed "frustration over the doubt raised by some parts of the worldwide community about his willingness to denuclearise, and asked us to convey his message to the United States". "It seems that the North wants the South Korean government well aware of its intentions to persuade the order to advance the overall process", Koh pointed out. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang in July, after which North Korea accused him of making "unilateral and gangster-like demands for denuclearization".

The North Korean leader cited his dismantlement of a key nuclear test site and his suspension of missile tests.

Kim's remarks about Trump's term, if conveyed accurately, would represent his first commitment to something resembling a timetable for nuclear talks with the US leader.

Chung and Suh Hoon, the director of South Korea's National Intelligence Service, traveled last week to Pyongyang to lay groundwork for the third meeting between Kim and South's President Moon Jae-in. "We haven't had any nuclear tests, we haven't had any missile tests, which we consider a good thing". He also announced North and South Korea will open a joint liaison office in North Korea's Gaeseong industrial complex. The impasse between North Korea and the United States, with neither side seemingly willing to make any substantive move, has generated widespread skepticism over Trump's claims that Kim is intent on dismantling his nuclear weapons program.

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"The summit will deal with the execution and direction of the Panmunjom Declaration, and discuss ways to realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, establishing permanent peace and shared prosperity (of the two Koreas)".

Chung, the South Korean envoy, said Kim Jong Un stressed the need for a peace declaration, and said that such a step wouldn't require the withdrawal of US troops.

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul on Thursday said it had no information to share on the matter.

The two Koreas technically remain at war as the 1950-53 war ended only with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The U.S. president gave Moon's envoys a message to deliver to Kim Jong Un, who gave the officials a statement to send to the White House.

News 1 reported Thursday the biggest USA warship based in Asia could arrive in South Korea for joint exercises.

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