North Korea agrees to weapons inspections as Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s president wrap up summit

President Donald Trump has hailed a decision by North Korea to allow international inspectors to observe a ‘permanent dismantlement’ of its key missile facilities, freeze missile and nuclear testing, and to take other steps toward normalization of relations with South Korea.

The president tweeted late Tuesday: ‘Kim Jong Un has agreed to allow Nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations, and to permanently dismantle a test site and launch pad in the presence of international experts. 

‘In the meantime there will be no Rocket or Nuclear testing.’

Trump also tweeted on Tuesday that North Korea has agreed to conduct searches for the remains of soldiers who went missing during the Korean War.

‘Also, North and South Korea will file a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics,’ the president tweeted. 

President Donald Trump has hailed a decision by North Korea to allow international inspectors to observe a 'permanent dismantlement' of its key missile facilities, freeze missile and nuclear testing, and to take other steps toward normalization of relations with South Korea

President Donald Trump has hailed a decision by North Korea to allow international inspectors to observe a 'permanent dismantlement' of its key missile facilities, freeze missile and nuclear testing, and to take other steps toward normalization of relations with South Korea

President Donald Trump has hailed a decision by North Korea to allow international inspectors to observe a ‘permanent dismantlement’ of its key missile facilities, freeze missile and nuclear testing, and to take other steps toward normalization of relations with South Korea

‘Very exciting!’

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday (local Korea time) that the North would agree to dismantle missile sites and take other steps such as closing its main Yongbyon nuclear complex if the United States takes reciprocal measures. 

North and South Korea agreed that the Korean Peninsula should turn into a ‘land of peace without nuclear weapons and nuclear threats,’ Moon said following the conclusion of his summit talks with the North Korean leader.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Moon, Kim said he will visit the South’s capital Seoul ‘in the near future.’

A joint statement says the two Koreas agreed to establish buffer zones along their land and sea borders to reduce military tensions and prevent accidental clashes.

The statement signed by the countries’ defense chiefs also says the Koreas agreed to withdraw 11 guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone by December with the aim of removing them eventually.

The statement says the Koreas also agreed to no-fly zone above the military demarcation line that bisects the two Koreas that will apply to planes, helicopters and drones.

South Korea¿s President Moon Jae-in (seen left with North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang) said on Wednesday (local Korea time) that the North would agree to dismantle missile sites and take other significant steps if the United States takes reciprocal measures

South Korea¿s President Moon Jae-in (seen left with North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang) said on Wednesday (local Korea time) that the North would agree to dismantle missile sites and take other significant steps if the United States takes reciprocal measures

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in (seen left with North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang) said on Wednesday (local Korea time) that the North would agree to dismantle missile sites and take other significant steps if the United States takes reciprocal measures

Seoul has been stressing the importance of reducing the conventional military threat between the Korea to prevent accidental clashes that can escalate into a nuclear conflict.

The statement was issued following the Pyongyang summit between Kim and Moon.

Moon also said the Koreas have agreed to establish a joint military committee to evaluate how to reduce tensions.

Moon said Wednesday the plans for the committee are part of a commitment to remove ‘any threat that could cause war’ on the Korean Peninsula.

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Moon’s government has been stressing the importance of reducing the conventional military threat between the Korea to prevent accidental clashes that can escalate into a nuclear conflict.

The Koreas first agreed to form a joint military committee in 1991, but the plans weren’t carried out due to turbulent relations between the rivals. 

Washington wants North Korea to outline the entirety of its nuclear program, and its response to Wednesday’s joint statement from the Koreas remains to be seen. 

While the declaration appears to fall short of what Washington wants, Trump has maintained that he and Kim have a solid relationship and both leaders have expressed interest in meeting again after their June summit in Singapore.

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 as they read the joint statement.

‘We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat,’ Kim said as he stood by Moon’s side at the guesthouse where Moon is staying. 

‘The road to our future will not always be smooth and we may face challenges and trials we can’t anticipate. But we aren’t afraid of headwinds because our strength will grow as we overcome each trial based on the strength of our nation.’

Kim and Moon earlier smiled and chatting as they walked down a hallway and into a meeting room to finalize the joint statement, which also said that the leaders would push for a Korean Peninsula without nuclear weapons and to ‘eliminate all the danger of war.’ 

North Korea was expected to hold a huge mass games spectacle later in the day, with Moon attending an event expected to draw about 150,000 spectators, Seoul said. 

Kim gave the South Korean president an exceedingly warm welcome on Tuesday. The two leaders are seen during a parade in Pyongyang after Moon's arrival in the North Korean capital 

Kim gave the South Korean president an exceedingly warm welcome on Tuesday. The two leaders are seen during a parade in Pyongyang after Moon's arrival in the North Korean capital 

Kim gave the South Korean president an exceedingly warm welcome on Tuesday. The two leaders are seen during a parade in Pyongyang after Moon’s arrival in the North Korean capital 

It wasn’t clear if Kim would attend.

North Korea first staged its mass games in 2002, when Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, was leader. 

They continued most every year until 2014, then were revived during North Korea’s celebrations of the 70th anniversary of its state founding earlier this month.

Kim gave the South Korean president an exceedingly warm welcome on Tuesday, the first day of the summit, meeting him and his wife at Pyongyang’s airport – itself a very unusual gesture – then riding into town with Moon in an open limousine through streets lined with crowds of North Koreans, who cheered and waved the flag of their country and a blue-and-white flag that symbolizes Korean unity.

The made-for-television welcome has become routine for their summits, after two meetings earlier this year.

The summit talks began at the ruling Workers’ Party headquarters where Kim and Moon were joined by two of their top deputies – spy chief Suh Hoon and presidential security director Chung Eui-yong for Moon, and for Kim, his sister, Kim Yo Jong, and senior Workers’ Party official Kim Yong Chol, according to Moon’s office.

At the start of their meeting Tuesday, Kim thanked Moon for brokering the June summit with Trump.

‘It’s not too much to say that it’s Moon’s efforts that arranged a historic North Korea-U.S. summit. Because of that, the regional political situation has been stabilized and more progress on North Korea-U.S. ties is expected,’ Kim said, according to South Korean media pool reports and Moon’s office.

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.

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