Kim and Moon visit sacred mountain as historic summit wraps up

Moon Jae-in arrived back in Seoul on Thursday after a high-profile, three-day visit - the first by a Southern leader to the North's capital.

"On the basis of these important commitments, the United States is prepared to engage immediately in negotiations to transform U.S. -DPRK relations", Pompeo said in a statement.

The signed agreement stated that Kim would travel to Seoul "as soon as possible", something no North Korean leader has ever done.

While Pyongyang has stopped nuclear and missile tests this year, it failed to keep its pledge to allow worldwide inspections of its dismantling of the Punggye-ri site in May, stirring criticism that the move could be reversed.

The Korean summit comes as the US effort to get North Korea to shut down its nuclear weapons program has met with mixed results. Pompeo welcomed that as a step agreed to by Trump and Kim in Singapore, and said it would be done in the presence of USA and worldwide inspectors.

Moon says such steps, combined with North Korea's unilateral but unverified dismantling of a nuclear testing ground earlier this year, would prevent the North from advancing its weaponry through further nuclear and missile tests.

But what about N. Korea and the U.S.?

A former human rights lawyer, Moon said in a 2017 book published months before his election as president that he wanted to "finish his life" in his mother's North Korean hometown doing pro-bono service.

In remarks before Moon's speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the two had made a "fresh milestone in the development of inter-Korean relations and the journey of peace and prosperity".


Kim also pledged establishing closer ties with the South.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, first lady Kim Jung-sook, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju attend a luncheon at Samjiyon Guesthouse in Ryanggang province, North Korea.

Pompeo said he spoke with his North Korean counterpart Wednesday morning. The North has long seen the United States military's large footprint in South Korea as a direct threat.

Kim also wants the US Secretary of State to come to Pyongyang for nuclear talks.

He last went there in December, after declaring North Korea had completed its goal of becoming a nuclear state, according to state media.

But it left open a burning question: Will the concessions North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is offering be enough to persuade the U.S.to meet any of his demands? They said the North was also willing to close its main nuclear complex if the United States took unspecified "reciprocal action".

"[Moon] would add much legitimacy to Kim, who had never had any summit with a foreign leader until early this year", said Seo Yu-suk, a research manager at the Institute of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

However, while containing several tantalizing offers, it appears to fall short of the major steps many in Washington had been looking for - such as a commitment by Pyongyang to provide a list of the North's nuclear facilities, a solid step-by-step time line or an agreement to allow worldwide inspectors in to assess progress or discover contraventions.

Moon continued, "Here, at this place today, I propose we move forward toward the big picture of peace in which the past 70-year-long hostility can be eradicated and we can become one again".

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