North Korea, South Korea begin ‘era of no war’

The highly symbolic trip capped a three-day visit by Moon to North Korea, the first by a South Korean leader in 11 years.

"(Moon) would add much legitimacy to Kim, who had never had any summit with a foreign leader until early this year", said Seo Yu-suk, a research manager at the Institute of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

To achieve this, the North also agreed to "permanently dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site and launch platform [also known as the Sohae Satellite Launch Station or the Tongchang-ri Missile and Space Launch Facility] under the observation of experts from relevant countries".

While Kim didn't commit Wednesday to giving up his arsenal of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that pose a threat to the USA mainland, he did promise to dismantle North Korea's main rocket launch site in the presence of worldwide experts, and offered to shutter its Nyongbyon nuclear site.

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

He cited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's decision to "complete the previously announced dismantlement of the Tongchang-ri site in the presence of USA and global inspectors as a step towards the final fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea".

Compared to the vague language of their two earlier summits, Mr Kim and Mr Moon seem to have agreed on an ambitious program meant to tackle soaring tensions that caused many to fear war previous year as the North tested a string of increasingly powerful weapons. He said he would discuss with Trump his and Kim's goal of declaring an end to the Korean War by the end of this year.

"South and North Korea agreed on a denuclearisation plan for the first time". Speaking before Pompeo's announcement, two senior US officials involved in US-North Korea policy voiced fears Kim was trying to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul.

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Seoul aims to jointly announce with the United States an end to the war within this year, a measure Moon said he would discuss with Trump when they meet next week at the United Nations General Assembly in NY. It said Washington was "stubbornly insisting" the North dismantle its nuclear weapons first, while failing to show its will for confidence-building measures, "including the declaration of the end of war, which it had already pledged".

The two sides agreed to break the impasse during Kim Jong Un's historic meeting with Trump in Singapore in June.

However, while containing several tantalizing offers, it appears to fall short of the major steps many in Washington had been looking for - such as a commitment by Pyongyang to provide a list of the North's nuclear facilities, a solid step-by-step time line or an agreement to allow worldwide inspectors in to assess progress or discover contraventions.

The two couples take a cable vehicle to Mount Paektu in North Korea. Trump also declared, "we're making tremendous progress" with North Korea, citing its halt in nuclear and missile testing since last November.

Moon also spoke directly to the North Korean public, describing a peaceful future to an audience of some 150,000 people. The war still technically continues because it ended with a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

"Such measures should be taken in a balanced manner between North Korea and the United States", he said.

However, in the meantime Moon and Kim made concrete moves of their own to reduce tensions on their border.

"Chairman Kim reaffirmed his strong will for denuclearization again and again", Moon said.

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