U.S. set to restart talks with North; Kim vows to permanently shut down missile test site

by WorldTribune Staff, September 20, 2018

The United States is prepared to resume talks with North Korea on denuclearization following North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s summit this week with South Korean President Moon Jae-In.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un pose during a document signing ceremony on Sept. 19 in Pyongyang. / Korea Broadcasting System via AP

Kim told reporters on Sept. 19 during a joint announcement with Moon: “We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threats.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he has invited North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho to meet with him in New York at next week’s United Nations General Assembly.

“This will mark the beginning of negotiations to transform U.S.-DPRK relations through the process of rapid denuclearization of North Korea, to be completed by January 2021, as committed by Chairman Kim, and to construct a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo said Pyongyang’s representatives have also been invited to hold talks with the U.S. special envoy for North Korea in Austria “at the earliest opportunity.”

Kim also agreed that the North’s Tongchang-ri missile testing site will be permanently closed “in the presence of experts from relevant nations.”

Tongchang-ri has been North Korea’s main satellite launch facility since 2012, according to monitoring group 38 North. It has also been used for testing engines for North Korean missiles capable of reaching the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted: “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.”

Moon said both he and Kim “agreed on a way to achieve denuclearization” on the Korean peninsula.

Kim also said he hoped to “visit Seoul in the near future.” If Kim does visit Seoul, he would be the first North Korean leader to do so.

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