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North Korea, South Korea agree on denuclearization plan, US left out

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korea summit
South
Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, and North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un pose after signing documents in Pyongyang, North Korea,
September 19, 2018.

Korean
Broadcasting System/AP


  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean
    leader Kim Jong Un agreed to make several steps towards
    denuclearization to promote “a land of peace” after their
    summit in Pyongyang on Wednesday.
  • One of the key parts of the September Pyongyang Joint
    Declaration included the “permanent dismantlement” of North
    Korea’s primary nuclear facility in Yongbyon, and allowing
    international inspectors to observe the disassembly of an
    engine test site.
  • Moon prefaced this plan by noting the US needed to
    reciprocate the measure.
  • Kim and Moon also agreed to collaborate on a bid to
    host the 2032 Summer Olympics.
    Additionally, 

    Kim said he “promised” to
    visit Seoul “in the near future.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un agreed to make several steps toward denuclearization to
promote “a land of peace” after their summit in Pyongyang on
Wednesday.

Kim and Moon signed the September Pyongyang Joint
Declaration, which offered more specifics than in previous
agreements, in front of gaggle of news reporters for their third
summit meeting. Moon arrived on Wednesday as the first South
Korean president in Pyongyang in 11 years.

One of the key parts of the agreement included the
“permanent dismantlement” of North Korea’s primary nuclear
facility in Yongbyon, and allowing international inspectors to
observe the closure of an engine test site and missile launch
pad. Moon prefaced this plan by noting the US needed to
reciprocate the measure.

“We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of
peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat,” Kim
said. “The road to our future will not always be smooth and we
may face challenges and trials we can’t anticipate.”

Kim and Moon also agreed to make a joint bid to host the
2032 Summer Olympics. The two countries competed together during
the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, despite
some protests from conservative South Korean lawmakers and
athletes. The move was part of an initial effort to improve
relations between the two Koreas ahead of a summit between the US
and North Korea, which took place in June.

Kim also said he “promised” to visit Seoul “in the near future.”
Moon reiterated the claim by saying that a potential visit may
take place in 2018 “unless there are certain special
circumstances.” A visit by a North Korean leader to Seoul, the
first since the Korean Peninsula was divided, would likely spark
mass protests, just as it did when North Korea’s delegation of
athletes and musical performers visited the country during the
Winter Olympics.

Former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un’s
father, made a similar promise to visit Seoul after a summit in
2000, but the trip never happened. 

While the two leaders expressed cautious optimism in the
months ahead, the US, South Korea’s key ally, expressed concern
over the developments. US-North Korean diplomatic relations have
seemingly stalled after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suddenly
canceled his trip to North Korea in August.

President Donald Trump embraced Kim since their June
meeting in Singapore. Conversely, Trump has sought to drive a
wedge between China and the North, at times scapegoating
China
for slowing the diplomatic process. 

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a skeptic
of North Korea’s recent outreach to the international community,
said he was “concerned” over Moon’s visit to Pyongyang.

“I’m concerned South Korea’s visit is going to undermine
efforts by [Pompeo] and [US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley] to
impose maximum pressure on the North Korean regime,” Graham said
in a tweet on Tuesday. “While North Korea has stopped testing
missiles and nuclear devices, they have NOT moved toward
denuclearization.”

“South Korea should not be played by Kim Jong Un,” Graham
added.

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