2 Koreas aim for pact to unlock nuclear talksBy HYONHEE SHIN
September 18. 2018 8:01PM
SEOUL — Leaders of South and North Korea plan to announce steps aimed at rekindling stalled nuclear talks and deepening bilateral ties after they meet for a second day of summit talks on Wednesday in the North’s capital Pyongyang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in kicked off their third meeting on Tuesday, during which Kim said his “historic” summit with President Donald Trump in June had improved regional stability and raised hopes for further progress.
A joint statement expected from the two leaders at the conclusion of their talks on Wednesday will provide clues to whether negotiations between North Korea and the United States over dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear programs could regain momentum.
The outcome will also be a litmus test for another meeting Kim has recently proposed to President Donald Trump.
Kim pledged to work toward the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula” during his first meeting with Moon in the Demilitarised Zone that separates the two Koreas in April, and at his summit with Trump in June.
But discussions over how to implement the vague commitments have since faltered, with Washington demanding concrete action towards denuclearisation by North Korea before agreeing to a key goal of Pyongyang — declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.
This week’s summit, the third between Kim and Moon this year, is intended to craft concrete steps to implement the Panmunjom Declaration, named after the border village where they first met, Seoul officials said.
The two Koreas are also working to adopt a separate military accord aimed at defusing tensions and preventing armed clashes between the old foes, which are technically still at war because the Korean War ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.