North Korea Pledges To Close Nuclear Missile Site

Reuters reports:

North Korea said on Wednesday it would permanently abolish its key missile facilities in the presence of foreign experts, the latest gesture by leader Kim Jong Un to revive faltering talks with Washington over his country’s nuclear program.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Pyongyang, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said they agreed to turn the Korean peninsula into a “land of peace without nuclear weapons and nuclear threats”. They said the North was also willing to close its main nuclear complex if the United States took unspecified “reciprocal action.”

The pledges Kim and Moon made at their third summit this year could inject fresh momentum into the stalled nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang and lay the groundwork for another meeting Kim recently proposed to U.S. President Donald Trump.

The New York Times reports:

On the second day of his summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, Mr. Kim signed a series of agreements aimed at easing tensions between the two countries, like stopping military exercises and creating no-fly zones near their shared border. Mr. Kim also promised to visit Seoul, the South Korean capital, which would make him the first North Korean leader to make such a trip.

But more eye-catching to Washington was his promise to dismantle a missile engine-test facility and a missile launchpad in northwest North Korea that have been essential to the country’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and invite outside experts to watch.

To go further, Mr. Kim has demanded “corresponding” measures from the United States, like declaring a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War, which was halted only with a truce. In return, he has proposed to “permanently dismantle” the Yongbyon nuclear complex, the heart of his country’s nuclear program, among other steps.