Summit could be domestic win for S. Korean leader

North Korea blames “gangster-like” US for stalled denuclearization talks but Kim praises Trump

North Korea blames “gangster-like” US for stalled denuclearization talks but Kim praises Trump

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed make the divided peninsula a "region without nuclear weapons" Wednesday after signing a joint statement in Pyongyang.

Moon will hold another round of formal talks with Kim on Wednesday, as he urges the North Korean leader to make substantive steps towards disarmament that he can present to Trump.

Kim pledged to visit the South Korean capital Seoul, in what would be a first for a North Korean leader.

The two leaders held one-on-one talks on the second day of their summit on Wednesday, aiming to announce steps to rekindle stalled negotiations on the North's nuclear programme and deepen bilateral ties.

Standing by her brother's side as he and Moon signed a denuclearization agreement Wednesday, Kim Jong Un would only use the pen Kim Yo Jong handed him to sign the joint statements.

Mr. Moon was seeking to engineer a proposal that combines a framework for the North's denuclearisation and a joint declaration ending the 1950-53 Korean War. Kim at the same time also stressed Washington must reciprocate his initial "goodwill" gestures.

They continued most every year until 2014, then were revived during North Korea's celebrations of the 70th anniversary of its state founding earlier this month.

President Moon stated his visit could take place within the year, barring unforeseen circumstances.

The North also agreed to take additional steps, such as the permanent shutdown of the Yongbyon nuclear facility, depending on the United States' corresponding measures, he added.

Speaking following its signing, ROK director of presidential National Security Office Chung Eui-yong said that the two Koreas had signed a "de facto non-aggression agreement".

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The two Koreas agreed to begin construction to reconnect railways and roads linking the countries within this year.

The two countries also formed a unified women's ice hockey side - a move initially controversial in the South, with critics saying that Seoul was depriving its own citizens of a chance to play on the Olympic stage.

The question is whether it will be enough for U.S. President Donald Trump to pick up where Moon has left off.

Mr Kim had conveyed the North's intent to dismantle certain facilities there, including a static test stand for liquid propellant engines for rockets, at the June summit with US President Donald Trump.

The North and South Korean militaries also agreed to "preclude the use of military force under any circumstance", pledging to resolve all issues that might result in conflict in a peaceful manner.

While a formal peace regime officially ending the Korean War would need buy in from the USA and China - the other participants in the conflict - experts agree that there is nothing to stop the two Koreas declaring an end to the war themselves, or signing a bilateral peace treaty.

North and South Korea have agreed to pursue a joint bid to host the summer Olympics in 2032.

The leaders agreed to set up a buffer zone in the Yellow Sea to suspend firing of guns and maritime drills, as well as a no-fly zone in border areas to prevent accidental plane clashes.

The highly choreographed crowds remain a regular phenomenon in North Korea, where the state routinely mobilizes the populace as a way of keeping them loyal and disciplined, analysts say.

The two Koreas plan to carry out a "pilot project of an Inter-Korean Joint Operation Recover Remains": the first of its kind since the division of the peninsula.

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