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Trump Praises North Korea's Kim for Progress in Nuclear Talks

EconomySep 19, 2018 12:40AM ET
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© Bloomberg. A police officer walks past a photo exhibition featuring North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018.

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Donald Trump praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for agreeing to further steps toward giving up his nuclear weapons, signaling that stalled negotiations might get back on track.

In a late-night tweet, Trump described Kim’s moves to discuss allowing nuclear inspectors, in addition to dismantling a missile test site and putting in a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics with South Korea, as “Very exciting!”

Earlier on Wednesday, North Korea agreed to dismantle its main Yongbyon nuclear production site if the U.S. takes reciprocal actions. It also said it would dismantle a key missile test site under the watch of international inspectors, create peace zones along the border and work toward denuclearization.

“We agreed to make active efforts to turn the Korean peninsula into the land of peace without nuclear weapons or nuclear threats,” Kim said at a joint briefing with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is visiting Pyongyang for a three-day summit. Kim would likely visit Seoul later this year, Moon said.

Moon added: “Chairman Kim has clearly shown a way to denuclearization on the Korean peninsula today. We have agreed on a Korean Peninsula without nuclear weapons, without nuclear threats and without a war.”

The complete denuclearization of the peninsula is “not far,” Moon said. “South and North Korea have agreed to collaborate closely with the U.S. and the international community for the final achievement of denuclearization.”

‘I Am Overwhelmed’

Other key points included:

  • Both countries will start connecting existing railways and roads this year, Moon said.
  • Both countries decided to open a permanent meeting place for families long separated by the border in the near future, Moon said. The two countries will first establish an avenue for video greetings and letters to be sent between separated families.
  • The two countries are planning a bid to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics, and will compete as one team at the 2020 Games in neighboring Tokyo and other unspecified competitions.
  • The two countries also agreed to “normalize” the Gaeseong complex and Kumgang tourism project, and set up a special co-economic zone on the West Sea, if conditions allow.
  • The countries agreed to withdraw 11 guard posts each from the demilitarized zone, as well as joint excavation of war remains and a “buffer zone” to stop hostile acts.

Moon is the first South Korean leader to visit Pyongyang in 11 years. He said his “heart is very full today.”

“I feel overwhelmed that I can share these words today,” Moon said. “South and North Korea for the first time agreed on measures for denuclearization. It is a very meaningful achievement.”

Trump Praises North Korea's Kim for Progress in Nuclear Talks
 

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