Pyongyang agrees to start denuclearization process

US President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un at the start of their historic summit in in Singapore

Kim Jong-un Summit with Trump ‘Stabilized the Region’ AFP SAUL LOEB18 Sep 2018

Speaking at a joint news conference in Pyongyang on Wednesday, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to the normalization of the Kaesong joint border industrial park and tours to North Korea's Mount Kumgang.

Kim and Moon embraced at Pyongyang's worldwide airport - where the North Korean leader had supervised missile launches previous year as tensions mounted.

But no details were agreed and Washington and Pyongyang have since sparred over what that means and how it will be achieved.

The agreement included commitments to the "permanent dismantlement" of North Korea's primary nuclear facility in Yongbyon and to allowing global inspectors to observe the closing of an engine test site and missile launch pad.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pose for photographs with the joint statement in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 19, 2018.

He said he was also willing to close the country's main nuclear complex - but only if the United States took unspecified reciprocal action.

It also was unclear what "corresponding steps" North Korea wants from the U.S.to dismantle its nuclear site.

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② The two sides agreed to engage in constant communication and close consultations to review the implementation of the Agreement and prevent accidental military clashes by promptly activating the Inter-Korean Joint Military Committee.

The United States has criticized North Korea for not doing enough to fulfill the agreement made at the June 12 summit in Singapore.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, a skeptic of North Korea's recent outreach to the global community, said he was "concerned" over Moon's visit to Pyongyang.

Trump said late Tuesday that news from this week's summit was "very exciting", although analysts said he had misconstrued Kim's pledges.

"While North Korea has stopped testing missiles and nuclear devices, they have NOT moved toward denuclearization", Graham said on Twitter.

It's expected the 150,000 person capacity stadium will be filled for a one-hour performance entitled "Brilliant Fatherland".

If realized, Kim would be the first North Korean leader to travel to the South Korean capital.

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Kim also said he "promised" to visit the South Korean capital of Seoul "in the near future".

"We are not afraid of future challenges". However, a retail shop there sells North Korean caviar at $50 for a 50-gramme jar - a luxury far beyond the reach of most North Koreans.

Mr Moon has been in Pyongyang for the summit.

"We're starting to get some meat on the bones now", said Daniel Tudor, co-author of "North Korean Confidential".

Moon responded by expressing his own thanks to Kim for making a "bold decision" in a New Year's speech to open a new era of detente and send a delegation to the South Korean Winter Olympics in February.

However, progress on the key issue of dismantling the North's nuclear arsenal was limited, even though the South's President Moon Jae-in had hoped to bring fresh momentum to stalled talks between his hosts and the United States.

U.S. officials have been trying for months to have Kim provide a detailed list of the number of nuclear warheads and descriptions of North Korea's nuclear infrastructure, but have reportedly been unsuccessful. The measures include the establishment of a buffer zone near the front line, the suspension of artillery drills and field maneuvers there and an agreement to each pull back 11 border guard posts by year's end.

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