Moon, Kim agree to third summit to discuss denuclearisation

North Korea's Kim Jong-un wants to realize denuclearization during U.S. President Donald Trump's first term - giving a timeline for the first time - and has agreed to a third summit with his South Korean counterpart, Seoul officials said.

Donald Trump on Thursday claimed he and Kim Jong-un would "get it done together" amid continued controversy over the US's stalled goal of North Korean denuclearisation.

Last month, Trump called off Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned visit to North Korea - saying in a tweet that the trip was inappropriate at "this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Chung Eui-yong (R), head of the presidential National Security Office, holds a press conference at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on September 6, 2018 on the outcome of his one-day trip to North Korea the previous day as a special envoy of South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Kim and Trump held a watershed summit in June in Singapore, during which they said they would work toward complete denuclearisation, establish "new" relations, and build "a lasting and stable peace regime" on the Korean peninsula.

Now, the South Korean envoy has a message for Trump from Kim, who apparently described the steps his country has made toward denuclearization as "very significant and meaningful", Yonhap reported.

Kim, however, expressed to Chung that he was frustrated by skepticism in the global community over his commitment to denuclearisation. Kim said he'd take "more active" measures toward denuclearisation if his moves are met with corresponding goodwill measures, Chung said.

The team brings with them, details including date, venue and topics for the hotly anticipated inter-Korean summit.

Asked about USA intelligence that North Korea was still advancing its weapons programmes, Pompeo noted that Pyongyang had ceased its nuclear tests and test-firing missiles, "which we consider a good thing".

Kim noted the North had dismantled its nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, where nuclear tests "have been made impossible for good", according to the South Korean envoy.

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North Korea's official KCNA news agency said Kim told the South's envoys that his "fixed stand" was to turn the Korean peninsula into "a cradle of peace without nuclear weapons, free from nuclear threat".

To which Trump tweet-simpered in response, "Thank you to Chairman Kim".

The delegation to the North announced that they had set up a summit for September 18-20 in Pyongyang between the North Korean leader and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, their third meeting since April. We haven't had any nuclear tests, we haven't had any missile tests, which we consider a great thing.

"There is still an enormous amount of work to do", he said.

US officials also say they have already made concessions, such as halting joint military exercises with South Korea.

The trove of comments from Mr. Kim was filtered through his propaganda specialists in Pyongyang and the South Korean government, which is keen on keeping engagement alive.

South Korea's Yonhap News on Thursday quoted analysts who took Kim's remarks as a positive sign.

"Chairman Kim asked us to convey the message to the U.S. that the United States [should] help create situations where he would feel his decision to denuclearise was a right move", the South Korean official added.

Seoul and Pyongyang both want a declaration to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice. Professor Yang Moo-jin of the University of North Korean Studies said Kim sees the U.S. agreeing to a formal end to the war as a "litmus test" to determine whether Washington is honest in moving forward.

And he asked for a message to be delivered to Trump.

  • Sonia Alvarado