North Korea in­tends to abol­ish all nu­clear weapons: SK

End-of-war dec­la­ra­tion ‘a mat­ter of time’: Moon

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

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 US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump pledged to work to­ward de­nu­cle­ariza­tion at their land­mark June sum­mit in Sin­ga­pore, but the agree­ment was short on specifics.

Moon em­pha­sized Kim’s re­solve to aban­don nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams and fo­cus on the econ­omy if North Korea’s 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 tran­script 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 US li­ai­son of­fice in North Korea, hu­man­i­tar­ian aid and an ex­change of eco­nomic ex­perts, Moon said. North Korea and the 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 US has in­sisted on ir­re­versible steps to­ward de­nu­cle­ariza­tion first.

“End­ing the war is a sort of a po­lit­i­cal dec­la­ra­tion to ter­mi­nate the long­stand­ing hos­tile re­la­tion­ship be­tween the US and North Korea, and it would kick off peace ne­go­ti­a­tions de­pend­ing on the de­nu­cle­ariza­tion process,” Moon said.

“There is con­sen­sus be­tween South Korea and the US that it is de­sir­able to make the end-of-war dec­la­ra­tion at an ear­li­est pos­si­ble date, so I think it’s a mat­ter of time but it will def­i­nitely hap­pen.

South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in (right) and a BBC re­porter play with two dogs on the lawn of the Blue House, Seoul, South Korea on Fri­day. North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un gave the pup­pies to Moon dur­ing their last sum­mit in Septem­ber.

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