South Korea launches its first missile-capable submarine

Hugh Fox
September 18, 2018

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The results of the talks are likely to be included in the envisioned military agreement, which is expected to be officially adopted by President Moon Jae-in and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un during their third summit slated to occur in Pyongyang from September 18-20.

Trump last week asked Moon to act as "chief negotiator" between Washington and Pyongyang, according to Moon's spokesman, after Trump cancelled a visit to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month.

Ri Son Gwon chairman of the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification speaks during an opening ceremony for two Koreas’ first liaison office in Kaesong North Korea Friday Sept. 14 2018. The rival Koreas on Friday launched their first liais

Opening the joint liaison office today is an important step, considering that we're just a few days away from the next inter-Korean summit. But nuclear diplomacy was later stalemated as US officials demanded Kim take more significant steps before receiving concessions like a joint declaration to end the Korean War. But North Korea has given no indication it is willing to give up its weapons unilaterally, as the Trump administration has demanded.

The North was "willing to denuclearise", Moon said on Thursday, while the USA was willing to "end hostile relations" and provide security guarantees, "but there is a blockage as both sides are demanding each other to act first".

"One of the roles we should play in the middle is to find the point of contact and present it, and expedite dialogue again to accelerate the denuclearisation process". Chung also said Kim wishes to realize denuclearization before the end of Trump's first term.

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But Kim has since sent Trump a letter seeking a second summit and held a military parade for his country's 70th birthday without showing off any intercontinental ballistic missiles, prompting warm tweets from the U.S. president and raising hopes of progress.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the enforcement of United Nations sanctions on North Korea was critical to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

At the summit, the leaders are expected to discuss denuclearization, as well as ways to follow through on the Panmunjom Declaration signed during the first inter-Korean summit on April 27 to expand inter-Korean cooperation. During the war, it was used for truce negotiations, so escaped the bombing which leveled most of North Korea.

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US officials say they have already made their own conciliatory gestures, including halting joint military exercises with South Korea.

Trump thanked Kim on Twitter, saying, "This is a big and very positive statement from North Korea".

The wave of optimism that surrounded the first two inter-Korean summits in April and May and the Singapore meeting between Trump and Kim in June conveniently overlooked disagreements about what exactly Kim had committed to.

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The building includes separate Northern and Southern offices and a joint conference room, and is meant to facilitate cross-border exchanges following the Panmunjom Summit between Moon and the North's leader Kim Jong Un, the unification ministry said.

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