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Korean Leaders To Meet This Month About A 'Nuclear-Free Korean Peninsula'

06 September 2018

North Korea has taken several steps such as dismantling its nuclear testing site this year, but the USA wants it to take more serious disarmament measures.

The two Koreas are set to hold working-level meetings next week to further discuss the upcoming Sept 18-20 summit.

The decision marked a rare note of skepticism from Trump, who proclaimed after his meeting in Singapore with Kim in mid-June that North Korea is "no longer a nuclear threat".

North Korean media have released a declaration from leader Kim Jong Un that reaffirms his commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula amid a growing standoff with the United States.

"If reciprocation is shown for North Korea's preemptive measures that have already been completed, he strongly expressed his will that more active measures for North Korea's denuclearisation can be taken".

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Kim also cited the dismantling of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and Dongchang-ri missile launch facility as evidence of his commitment to end nuclear testing permanently, Chung said, The Washington Post reported.

Chung added that Kim expressed his intention to work closely with the United States to achieve denuclearization "in the first official term of President Trump", which ends in January 2021.

He said Kim emphasized that he has not once talked negatively about Trump to anyone, including his closest advisers. The article said the North has shown "goodwill and generosity" through actions such as returning US war remains and dismantling a nuclear testing ground, but that the USA has failed to respond similarly. Moon had to postpone inauguration of a South Korean liaison office in the North after Pompeo's trip was canceled.

"The United States shouldn't delay any further an end-of-war declaration, which the USA president promised at the Singapore summit", the North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in an editorial.

The North Korean leader also reportedly said he wants to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and end hostile relations between North Korea and the United States during Trump's first term in office.

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The visit by the South Korean delegation to Pyongyang came amid a deadlock on the North's nuclear weapons programme, with U.S. efforts to dismantle the arsenal stalled for weeks.

Pyongyang is believed to be demanding a quid pro quo for its denuclearization steps that many believe include a formal end to the Korean War.

The war ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, meaning USA -led United Nations forces, including South Korea, are technically still at war with the North. Negotiations since then have been rocky and settled into a stalemate.

That summit will be a crucial indicator of whether larger nuclear negotiations with the United States will proceed.

Pompeo visited Pyongyang in July, after which North Korea accused him of making "unilateral and gangster-like demands for denuclearisation" while showing little interest in ending the war.

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Korean Leaders To Meet This Month About A 'Nuclear-Free Korean Peninsula'