North Korea intends to abolish all nuclear weapons: SK
End-of-war declaration ‘a matter of time’: Moon
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.