The Leaders of the Two Koreas at Mount Paektu for a Demonstration of Unity
Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in traveled to the spiritual cradle of the Korean nation on Thursday for a show of unity after the new impetus given by the inter-Korean summit to negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington.
The North Korean leader agreed on Wednesday to close the missile engine testing site and the Tongchang-ri shooting pitch in the presence of international experts. An announcement that the United States has welcomed by saying ready for immediate talks to denuclearize North Korea within three years.
Pyongyang also mentioned the closure of its Yongbyon nuclear complex if Washington took “corresponding measures”.
This is an important condition, but this declaration signed after the third inter-Korean summit in six months was apparently enough to unblock the process of nuclear talks with Washington, which had been skating for weeks.
US President Donald Trump hailed “extraordinary progress”. His Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he spoke to his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho and invited him to meet him on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York next week.
Referring to the “important commitments” of the North Korean regime, he explained that Washington was ready to revive “immediate negotiations” to complete the denuclearization of North Korea by January 2021, the end of Donald’s term. Trump.
Discussions had stalled since the historic summit of 12 June in Singapore between MM. Kim and Trump, when the North Korean reiterated his country’s commitment to the denuclearization of the peninsula.
Since then, Washington and Pyongyang have ventured on the meaning of this terminology, the United States persistently evoking the denuclearization of North Korea alone.
The North has denounced the “gangster” methods of the Americans, accused of wanting to obtain its unilateral disarmament without making concessions at each stage and without easing the pressure or the sanctions.
The experts remained skeptical about the latest announcements, pointing out that Pyongyang had already said several times that it did not need additional tests.
For their part, Seoul and Pyongyang were keen to strengthen their ties, Mr. Kim to bring his country’s economic power of the South, Mr. Moon away from the peninsula the specter of a devastating inter-Korean conflict.
The North Korean leader must travel to Seoul. The visit, which could take place this year, would be the first of a leader of the North in the South Korean capital since the end of the war (1950-53) which ended in an armistice and not a peace treaty.