From Pyongyang with love: Koreas' leaders meet to discuss end of war

Moon, whose family fled in Korean War's aftermath, met with Kim twice this year in bordering village.

September 18, 2018 09:21
1 minute read.

Kim Jong Un welcomes South Korea's President to Pyongyang, September 18, 2018 (Reuters)

Kim Jong Un welcomes South Korea's President to Pyongyang, September 18, 2018 (Reuters)


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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greeted South Korean President Moon Jae-in with a hug when he arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday to discuss the dismantling of the nuclear program and the end of the Korean Peninsula conflict. Kim and Moon will hold official talks Wednesday morning, according to the South Korean President's Office. Kim, his wife Ri Sol Ju and North Korean officials, including his young sister Kim Yuzhong, received Moon when he landed at Pyongyang airport.

Hundreds of North Koreans dressed in suits and traditional dresses greeted Moon and waved North Korea flags as well as flags symbolizing a unified Korean Peninsula. The two leaders left together in the same black Mercedes when they arrived at the Fukwon Guest House, where Moon was staying. Moon, himself a member of a family that fled home in the aftermath of the Korean War, met with Kim twice this year in the village of Panmunjom, on the border between the two countries.

The inter-Korean summit, the third time between the two leaders, is considered a test for another meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump. The US president asked Moon to be "the head of the negotiations' team" between him and Kim, according to South Korean presidential aides, after Trump canceled a visit to Pyongyang by his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month.

Washing wants to see concrete action toward dismantling North Korea's nuclear program before agreeing on Pyongyang's main goal--declaring the end of the Korean War that broke out in 1950. "If the dialogue between North Korea and the United Stated is renewed after this visit, it will be of great importance," Moon said before leaving for a visit.

On Wednesday, Moon and Kim will hold a second round of official talks and then expect to hold a joint declaration and sign a military agreement designed to defuse tension and prevent armed conflict. The United States has recently put pressure on other countries to comply with UN sanction designed to prevent funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs, and UN Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on Monday accused Russia of "deceiving" UN sanctions against North Korea.

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