Kim made the announcement during a three-day summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang that began Tuesday, the third such meeting this year. The pair met to discuss ongoing efforts to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons, improve diplomatic relations and formally end the Korean War.
They signed a joint declaration on Wednesday, local time, that Moon hailed as a new era for the two nations, including pledges by the North to shut down a missile testing facility and launchpad and also a promise to permanently dismantle its main nuclear complex if the United States took “corresponding measures.” But experts said the document only contained vague promises that would do little to curb the North’s nuclear program.
The two countries also said they hoped to submit a joint bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics and said they would work to connect cross-border railways and roads.
Korean Central News Agency via Reuters South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said they had discussed steps to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons, but experts remain skeptical.
“The era of no war has started,” the South Korean leader said during the press briefing. Kim echoed those sentiments, saying that he had “made a firm commitment to exert active efforts to make the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons and nuclear threat and turn it into a land of peace,” according to The New York Times.
During Wednesday’s news conference, Kim did not make any specific commitments to denuclearize his country, a pledge long sought by the United States. The leaders emphasized that they understood “practical progress” was needed to move forward, but many North Korea policy experts expressed doubt about Kim’s intentions.
Kim is playing this brilliantly: verify that I dismantle a single site that I no longer need anyway while I mass produce the missiles the site helped me develop. https://t.co/ij0T3yXQsT
— Vipin Narang (@NarangVipin) September 19, 2018
"북측은 미국이 6·12 북미공동성명의 정신에 따라 상응조치를 취하면 영변 핵시설의 영구적 폐기와 같은 추가적인 조치를 계속 취해나갈 용의가 있음을 표명하였다." Yongbyon has no American counterpart. Dismantling all the national labs isn't going to happen. 3/
— Melissa Hanham (@mhanham) September 19, 2018
We all assume that the Yongbyon HEU facility was built for express purpose of being sacrificed, with Kangson held back. I presume there is at least one more HEU production site.
— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) September 19, 2018
Moon is expected to speak with Trump after this week’s event, and Trump will then decide if he’ll accept Kim’s invitation. The president has expressed frustration with Pyongyang in recent weeks, and he canceled a visit to the North by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in August amid stalled negotiations.
Trump said late Tuesday that news from this week’s summit was “very exciting,” although analysts said he had misconstrued Kim’s pledges.
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. Hero remains to continue being……..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2018
No. This did not happen. And, when he realizes it, he's going to be really pissed. https://t.co/87HOXTHnjI
— Melissa Hanham (@mhanham) September 19, 2018 RELATED COVERAGE Korean Leaders Meet In Pyongyang For A Potentially Tough Summit Bob Woodward: Nixed Trump Tweet 'Scared The Daylights' Out Of The Pentagon Trump Tweets 'Thank You' to Kim Jong Un After North Korean Military Parade Download