Two Koreas agree to hold September summit in Pyongyang

Kim Jong Un left and South Korean President Moon Jae-in cross the military demarcation line at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the North and South

Korea Summit Press Pool via AP File

The leaders of the two Koreas will hold a summit in Pyongyang in September, Seoul said Thursday, as the North's leader Kim Jong Un renewed his commitment to the denuclearization of the flashpoint peninsula.

The spokesman says chief South Korean envoy Chung Eui-yong is to speak to US national security adviser John Bolton on Thursday evening to inform the results of his meeting with Kim.

"Chairman Kim. expressed frustration over the doubt shown by some parts of the worldwide society about his will", national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency said: "Noting that it is our fixed stand and his will to completely remove the danger of armed conflict and horror of war from the Korean Peninsula and turn it into the cradle of peace without nuclear weapons and free from nuclear threat, he said that the North and the South should further their efforts to realise the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

Kim's remarks to South Korean officials mark the first time that the North Korean leader has offered a potential timeline for dismantling his country's nuclear weapons programme.

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Kim and Trump held a watershed summit in June in Singapore and pledged to work toward denuclearisation of the peninsula.

North Korea has said in previous, failed talks over the years that it could consider giving up its nuclear program if the United States provided security guarantees by removing its troops from South Korea and withdrawing its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.

Kim told South Korean officials his faith in Trump was "unchanged" and that he wanted denuclearization and an end to hostile relations with the United States before Trump's first term in office ends in early 2021, Chung said.

Mr Chung also cited Mr Kim as saying that North Korea is unable to conduct any more nuclear tests, despite several reports that the regime is secretly continuing its nuclear programme.

"I can not reveal it here, but (Kim) asked for a message to be conveyed to the United States on the matter", Chung said.

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At a press conference, the envoys said Mr Kim told them it was his firm will to work with South Korea to achieve a lasting peace settlement. But Mr. Moon faces tougher challenges heading into his third meeting with Mr. Kim, with the stalemate in nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington raising fundamental questions about Mr. Kim's supposed willingness to abandon his nuclear weapons.

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" while showing little interest in ending the war.

Kim brushed off such worries on Wednesday, and said declaring an end of the Korean War has nothing to do with the U.S.

"The United States shouldn't delay any further an end-of-war declaration, which the US president promised at the Singapore summit", the North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in an editorial on Thursday.

The Korean War ended with an armistice, leaving the peninsula technically still at war.

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