North Korean leader Kim Jong Un intends to abolish all nuclear weapons, materials and facilities to achieve “complete” denuclearization, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who held his third summit with Kim last month, said on Friday.
Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to work towards denuclearization at their landmark June summit in Singapore, but the agreement was short on specifics. Negotiations have made little headway since, with the North refusing to declare its nuclear weapons and facilities or agree to a concrete timeline.
Moon emphasized Kim’s resolve to abandon nuclear and missile programs, that the North pursued in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and focus on the economy if regime security is guaranteed.
“By complete denuclearization, he meant to start by stopping additional nuclear and missile tests, and then abolish the facilities that produce the nukes and develop the missiles, and all the existing nuclear weapons and materials,” Moon said, according to a script of his interview with BBC shared by his office.
After his third summit in Pyongyang, Moon said the North was ready to invite international experts to watch the dismantling of a key missile site and would close the main Yongbyon nuclear complex if Washington took reciprocal actions.
The actions could include putting a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, opening of a U.S. liaison office in North Korea, humanitarian aid and an exchange of economic experts, Moon said.
Reclusive North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because the conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
And when the North makes substantial progress in denuclearization, a gradual easing of economic sanctions Pyongyang should be “seriously considered,” Moon said.
The United States has insisted on irreversible steps towards denuclearization first.
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