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Rediff.com  » News » North Korea agrees to shut missile site, says Moon

North Korea agrees to shut missile site, says Moon

September 19, 2018 14:56 IST

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in on Tuesday agreed to continue their efforts to ensure long-lasting peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.

IMAGE: South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a joint news conference in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photograph: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool via Reuters

"The complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of peace are key agenda items," President Moon said at the banquet dinner after the first day of the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang,

"There could be some challenges to this new approach. But chairman Kim and I have trust and friendship. This has just begun. We will be able to create a future nobody has experienced," he added.

Moon added that the North had agreed to "permanently close" a missile engine testing site and launch facility in Tongchang-ri, "in the attendance of experts from relevant nations".

 

On the other hand, Kim said that his meeting with Moon would serve as a "historic chance" for the Korean people, who want to see the strengthening of inter-Korean relations and building peace on the peninsula, Yonhap News Agency reported.

"This time, I and President Moon Jae-in will discuss various issues, related to following up with the Panmunjom Declaration, in a frank and open-minded manner," the North Korean leader remarked, while referring to the deal signed during their meeting in April in Panmunjom.

IMAGE: Moon and Kim pose for photographs with the joint statement. Photograph: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool via Reuters

Kim went on to say that his understanding and mutual trust with President Moon would help to further achieve steps for realising a peaceful and prosperous Korea.

After the remarks, the two Korean leaders and their wives watched an art performance at the Pyongyang Grand Theatre.

During the start of the summit, Kim thanked Moon for achieving a breakthrough in the talks between North Korea and the United States.

"Thanks to this (US-North Korea meeting), regional conditions stabilised and a more advanced outcome is expected. I once again express my gratitude for efforts made by President Moon," the North Korean leader said.

IMAGE: The two Korean leaders with their partners attend a luncheon. Photograph: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool via Reuters

Lauding Kim's bold decision, President Moon elucidated, "This process has been based on Chairman Kim's decision, and I express my respect for Chairman Kim's determination to open a new era."

Kim expressed hope for a progress in the denuclearisation talks with Washington and thanked President Moon for playing a role in the improvement of ties between North Korea, South Korea and the Unitedn States.

Underscoring the need to show the world on Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearise, President Moon said, "The entire world is also watching, so (I) hope we will show the fruits of peace and prosperity to all people in the world."

President Moon is scheduled to return to South Korea on Thursday, but his departure can be delayed for a friendship programme with Kim, which depends upon the outcome of the inter-Korean summit, according to officials.

IMAGE: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gesture during a car parade in Pyongyang. Photograph: Korean Central News Agency vai Reuters 

Earlier, President Moon arrived in Pyongyang, becoming the first South Korean head of state to visit North Korea in over a decade.

Kim and his wife Ri Sol-ju received the South Korean president and his wife Kim Jung-sook at the airport.

This is the third meeting between Moon and Kim.

The two Korean leaders had first met at Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone in April, followed by the second meeting in May.

Source: ANI