Kim Jong Un wants 2nd meeting with Donald Trump, South Korea says

South North Korea to bid for Olympic Games 2032

Kim, who recently proposed another summit with Trump after their unprecedented June talks in Singapore, said the North was willing to "permanently dismantle" key missile facilities in the presence of outside experts, and the Yongbyon main nuclear complex, if the USA took corresponding action.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in made his first trip to the North Korean capital Pyongyang this week, where he convened yet another summit with leader Kim Jong-un, continuing denuclearization talks and diplomatic progress between the neighboring countries.

There, Kim promised to allow external inspectors into his country to verify that a missile test and launch site had been permanently dismantled, and also pledged to permanently disable an important nuclear site if the United States also takes "corresponding steps".

In another notable first, Moon directly mentioned the North's denuclearization several times, including at his speech Wednesday in front of the 150,000 North Koreans attending the Mass Games performance. Trump also declared, "we're making tremendous progress" with North Korea, citing its halt in nuclear and missile testing since last November. "This could very well set the conditions for the president to withdraw US forces (from South Korea) as he has stated is his desire", Maxwell said.

In addition, agreement on economic cooperation can not be implemented without the lifting of United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

Moon continued, "Here, at this place today, I propose we move forward toward the big picture of peace in which the past 70-year-long hostility can be eradicated and we can become one again".

Some US officials were deeply skeptical.

The two sides also agreed on cross-border exchanges and economic cooperation, including joint projects within the year to connect railways and roads across the border, the resumption of Kumgangsan tours and reopening of the Kaesong industrial park. Kim may well be playing Trump, but that is no reason to stop talking.

Still, the dismantling of the site in the country's northeast would have limited impact on North Korea's ability to pose a nuclear threat to the United States. Pyongyang has long sought their withdrawal and Trump has questioned their rationale and cost.

"Everything that's out there now is conditional on USA actions that would reduce the pressure on the North to cooperate or (is) filled with loopholes and exit ramps", added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Kim and Moon raised their clasped hands aloft on the crater rim and the South Korean president expressed hopes many of his countrymen would follow in his footsteps.

In light of those reports, experts have warned the USA not to grant North Korea premature concessions. North Korea also has returned what it says are remains of fallen American soldiers from the decades-old war.

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The war ended in an armistice, rather than a peace treaty, meaning US-led United Nations forces, including South Korea, are technically still at war with the North.

"Chairman Kim Jong Un has again and again affirmed his commitment to denuclearization", Moon said after returning to Seoul.

Moon plans to return to South Korea later on Thursday.

As Moon arrived at an airport near the mountain, some 1,000 North Koreans greeted him, waving flowers and chanting "Motherland!"

This week's summit comes as Moon is under increasing pressure from Washington to find a path forward in efforts to get Kim to completely - and unilaterally - abandon his nuclear arsenal.

"He's calm, I'm calm - so we'll see what happens", Trump, who past year threatened to destroy North Korea, told reporters.

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

Washington meanwhile is still demanding concrete action towards denuclearisation, such as a full disclosure of North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities, before agreeing to key goals of Pyongyang.

Moon said Kim had also told him the closure of a nuclear weapons test site at Punggye-ri could be subject to global verification.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (second from right) and his wife Kim Jung-sook (right) stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (second from left) and his wife Ri Sol Ju on the Mount Paektu in North Korea on Thursday.

"The statement clearly implies that inter-Korean summits and theatrical promises to dismantle the odd facility simply can't substitute for a negotiating process on the nuclear issue", said the Asia Society Policy Institute's Daniel Russel.


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