Pyongyang: South Korean President Moon seeks nuclear agreement with Kim

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The resort has been largely unused after a South Korean tourist was shot there by a North Korean soldier in an apparent accident in 2008.

Seoul officials hope Moon will be able to convince Trump to restart nuclear talks with Pyongyang, after he canceled a trip by his secretary of state to Pyongyang last month, citing lack of progress.

A presidential spokesman announced South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will visit the North's Mount Paektu Thursday morning.

His father, late leader Kim Jong-il, also agreed to visit the South when he held the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000 with then-South Korean President Kim Dae-jung. They agreed that Kim would visit the South in the near future. Few expected the promise would be honored by a leader who was so reclusive that his train trips to neighboring China and Russian Federation made huge headlines in the outside world.

Commenting on the agreement, Chairman Kim declared the two leaders 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".

Kim has also cozied up to Moon to obtain economic aid from Seoul, as North Korea's economy is believed to be suffering from worldwide sanctions created to curtail its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Kim and Moon earlier smiled and chatted as they walked down a hallway and into a meeting room to finalize the joint statement, which also said that the leaders would push for a Korean Peninsula without nuclear weapons and to "eliminate all the danger of war".

During a second day of meetings with Moon Jae-in, the first South Korean leader to visit Pyongyang in 11 years, Kim agreed to dismantle a key missile test site under the watch of global inspectors. To emphasize their commitment to peace, the nations have chose to send a united team to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and will submit a joint bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics.

"It's worrying there was no mention of North Korea's current missile and nuclear warhead stockpiles in the statement", he added.

Experts said it was far from clear that Kim had made concessions that would make a summit an attractive proposition for the US administration, but Trump himself reacted positively, calling the news "very exciting" on Twitter.

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It also led to rapid improvement in the North's long-strained ties with China.

We can make a deal, the two Korean leaders seemed to suggest. Sitting beside Kim Jong Un during the first round of inter-Korean talks in the three-day summit, she made her presence known as his trusted confidante.

On Wednesday, Moon was scheduled to visit Mansudae Art Studio - an entity that was blacklisted by the Security Council a year ago for earning cash to fund its arms program by erecting monuments and military facilities in African countries.

Bruce Bennett, of the RAND Corporation in California, said Moon's strategy could put Seoul at odds with the United States.

Would you like to get published on Standard Media websites? They rode in an open vehicle together as their motorcade passed through streets of Pyongyang before Kim and his wife showed the Moons into the Paekhwawon, the North's state guesthouse.

Mr Moon responded by expressing his own thanks to Mr Kim for making a "bold decision" in a New Year's speech to open a new era of detente and send a delegation to the South Korean Winter Olympics in February.

"A visitor to PyeongChang said the high-speed train was very good", Kim said of the bullet train services that the South ran to the Olympic venue.

North Koreans have been barraged with a lot of astounding images this year.

All these point to an ordinary leader of an ordinary nation.

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