North Korea Ties Better Since He Became President

North Korea pledges to close down key missile test site

Kim Yong Un made another pledge to the South's Moon Jae-in on denuclearisaing the North.

Talks between the USA and North Korea have stalled in recent weeks after President Trump became uncertain that Kim was following through with pledges made at their Singapore summit in June.

On the second day of his summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, Mr. Kim signed a series of agreements aimed at easing tensions between the two countries, like stopping military exercises and creating no-fly zones near their shared border.

"On the basis of these important commitments, the United States is prepared to engage immediately in negotiations", Pompeo said in a statement. "Washington will have to help move the needle here and it's unclear if the Trump administration can do that". Pompeo welcomed that as a step agreed to by Trump and Kim in Singapore, and said it would be done in the presence of US and global inspectors. South Korea and the United States remain technically at war with North Korea because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice and not a peace treaty.

Many also believe that apart from Yongbyon, the North also has covert nuclear facilities.

But discussions over how to implement the vague commitments have since faltered and North Korea has consistently refused to give up its nuclear arsenal unilaterally.

Mr Trump has questioned the rationale and cost of keeping 28,500 USA troops based in South Korea.

Moon's spokesman, Yoon Young-chan, announced later in the day that the South Korean President would travel to the United States to meet with Trump on September 24.

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The Korean summit comes as the US effort to get North Korea to shut down its nuclear weapons program has met with mixed results.

"The North has chose to permanently abolish the Tongchang-ri engine test site and missile launchers with experts from relevant countries in attendance", South Korean President Moon Jae-in said. Compared to the vague language of their two earlier summits, Kim and Moon seem to have agreed on an ambitious program meant to tackle soaring tensions previous year that had many fearing war as the North tested a string of increasingly powerful weapons. North Korea has been demanding a declaration formally ending the Korean War, which was stopped in 1953 by a ceasefire, but neither leader mentioned it Wednesday as they read the joint statement. "I now propose that we completely eliminate the hostility of the past 70 years and take a big step forward in peace so that we can become one again".

On Thursday, Moon and Kim, accompanied by their wives, visited Mount Paektu on the Chinese border.

North Korea says Kim's grandfather and father, Kim Jong-il, were born at Mount Paektu, a centrepiece of the North's idolisation and propaganda campaign to highlight the sacred bloodline of the ruling Kim family.

Further, Kim said that the full extent of North Korean denuclearization is still dependent on American cooperation in the peace process, with policy experts wary that all of Kim's demands will be met by the powers that be in D.C.

South Korean tourists flock to see the mountain via China but only a handful of Southerners have been granted access from the North Korean side, mostly for research purposes.

Speaking ahead of Mr Pompeo's announcement, Mr Trump welcomed Mr Kim's pledges, calling them part of "tremendous progress" with Pyongyang on a number of fronts, and hailing "very good news" from the summit between the Koreas.


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