Moon, Kim Talk in Private Amid Search for Nuke Breakthrough

  • By Lee Min-seok

    September 19, 2018 09:54

    President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un started their second day of talks on Wednesday morning with no other officials present. They will announce any results in a joint press conference afterwards.

    On Tuesday afternoon after Moon arrived in Pyongyang, the two leaders sat down for a first round of talks in Kim's office at Workers Party headquarters with other key officials.

    Moon urged Kim to make more concrete commitments to denuclearization like handing over of a list of nuclear stockpiles, while Kim called for Washington to take a reciprocal step like declaring a formal end to the Korean War to reward him for dismantling the Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

    But despite essentially reiterating their known position, the atmosphere between the two leaders was cordial.

    President Moon Jae-in (right) walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang in this video grab from Wednesday. /Yonhap

    "It is not too much to say that it's Moon's efforts that arranged a historic North Korea-U.S. summit," Kim said at the start of talks. "Because of that, the regional political situation has stabilized and more progress on North Korea-U.S. ties is expected."

    The two met twice before this year in the border truce village of Panmunjom.

    Moon replied that any progress has been possible thanks to Kim's "bold decision" to open a new era and added that he hopes their talks will bear abundant fruit.

    Also on the agenda was further cross-border cooperation and building a "peace zone" around the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea.

    President Moon Jae-in (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wave as their car drives through Pyongyang on Tuesday.

    Earlier Tuesday, Moon inspected an honor guard on arrival at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang together with Kim and attended a welcome ceremony. They rode in an open car 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. 

    "We have built trust and friendship between us, so I think [our talks] will be well," Moon said. "Now is really the time to achieve results, with spring in Panmunjom," where their first summit took place in April "leading to autumn in Pyongyang."

    "I think it was our people's wish that we come up with good results as fast as we can," Kim replied.

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