This picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivering an address to mark the New Year at an undisclosed location on January 1, 2019.
KCNA VIA KNS / AFP
N. Korea should take 'bold' steps towards denuclearisation: S. Korea's Moon
(Agence France-Presse) - January 10, 2019 - 10:57am

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea needs to take "more bold, practical measures for denuclearisation" to ensure sanctions are lifted, the South's President Moon Jae-in said Thursday with negotiations stalling between Pyongyang and Washington.

"Corresponding measures must be devised in order to facilitate North Korea's continued denuclearisation efforts," he added, such as the US agreeing a "peace regime" and formally declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

The North has repeatedly pledged to work towards "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", a vague term that could be taken to also include US forces in the South and in the wider region.

Moon acknowledged that the agreement North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump signed at their first summit in Singapore was "somewhat vague".

He also said there was "scepticism" that Kim's "concept of denuclearisation" will be different from that demanded by the US.

"But Kim has assured many foreign leaders, including myself, Trump, Xi Jinping and Putin, that his concept is no different in any way from what the international community demands," Moon told reporters at the Blue House in Seoul.

"Kim also stated that denuclearisation and the issue of ending the war has nothing to do with the status of US troops in South Korea," he added. "Kim Jong Un understands that the issue is entirely up to the decision of South Korea and the United States."

US strategic assets in the region involved not only North Korea, "but also overall stability and peace in Northeast Asia", Moon said. "I don't think it will be discussed in North-US nuclear talks." 

The North Korean leader's trip to China this week was a sign a second Trump-Kim summit was "imminent", he added.

"I think Chairman Kim Jong Un's visit to China will have a very positive effect on the success of the second US-North Korea summit," he told the press conference.

A second summit should produce an agreement that was "more clear on actions by each side", he added.

Moon has actively pursued engagement with the North to bring it to the negotiating table, a stance that has at times seen Seoul and Washington take increasingly divergent approaches.

Conditions for resuming two key economic projects between North and South Korea -- the Kaesong Industrial Complex, where Southern companies used to employ North Korean workers, and Southern tourism to Mount Kumgang in the North "have essentially been met already", he said.

But many analysts say that restarting the schemes would at present violate sanctions imposed on the North over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Seoul would cooperate with the US and international community to seek to "resolve" the issue of sanctions "as soon as possible", Moon said.

DENUCLEARIZATION OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA KIM JONG UN MOON JAE-IN NORTH KOREA SOUTH KOREA
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 2, 2019 - 7:32am

South Korean officials were briefing the White House Thursday on the outcome of their pathfinding meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Seoul has already publicized that North Korea offered talks with the United States on denuclearization and normalizing ties, a potential diplomatic opening after a year of escalating tensions over the North's nuclear and missile tests. The rival Koreas also agreed to hold a leadership summit in late April.

Top Trump administration officials were getting a chance to hear firsthand from South Korean national security director, Chung Eui-yong, who led the delegation that went to Pyongyang. — Associated Press

October 2, 2019 - 7:32am

A North Korean projectile appears to have breached Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone, Tokyo says.

North Korea on Wednesday fires "projectiles" toward the sea, South Korea's military earlier said, a day after Pyongyang signalled a resumption of nuclear talks with the US.

"North Korea fired unidentified projectiles from Wonsan ... towards the East Sea (Sea of Japan) this morning," the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said without providing further details.

"Our military is monitoring the situation for additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture," the JCS said in a statement.

The launch came a day after the North's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said that Pyongyang had agreed to hold working-level talks with Washington later this week. -- Agence France-Presse

August 11, 2019 - 1:12pm

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised a "new weapon" test, state media reports, the latest in a series of launches that US President Donald Trump has played down as Washington seeks to restart nuclear talks with Pyongyang.

The report carried by the Korean Central News Agency followed Trump's comments that Kim had expressed a willingness to meet once the US-South Korean exercises are over and apologized for the slew of missile tests.

Saturday's launch was the North's fifth test in two weeks as it protests the annual military drills under way between Seoul and Washington which always infuriates Pyongyang. Defense officials in Seoul said Pyongyang fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles Saturday, flying 400 kilometers (250 miles) before splashing down in the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan. — Agence France-Presse

August 2, 2019 - 8:02am

North Korea carried out its third missile test in eight days Friday, according to the South's military, but US President Donald Trump says he has "no problem" with the spate of launches by Pyongyang.

The nuclear-armed North is barred from ballistic missile tests under UN resolutions and its actions have drawn condemnation from European members of the Security Council but a comparatively sanguine response from Trump, who has met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un three times, generating global headlines on each occasion.

"I have no problem, we'll see what happens but short range (missiles) are very standard," Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a rally in Ohio. — Agence France-Presse

August 1, 2019 - 7:50am

South Korea's military said Wednesday that two ballistic missiles had been fired from the Wonsan area on North Korea's east coast.

Kim "repeatedly expressed satisfaction over the result of the test-fire," and "highly appreciated" the national defense science and munitions industry personnel who have "made another wonderful Korean-style multiple launch rocket system," KCNA said.

While there was little further detail on the weapons, the guided rockets "will play a main role in ground military operations," KCNA said.

The North is banned from ballistic missile launches under UN Security Council resolutions, but Wednesday's firings were the second such in less than a week, despite a meeting between leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump last month.

Pyongyang and Washington are engaged in a long-running diplomatic process over the North's nuclear and missile programmes that has seen three high-profile encounters between their leaders in the space of a year. — Agence France-Presse

May 9, 2019 - 6:54pm

Weapons fired by North Korea Thursday appeared to be two separate missiles, the South's military says, in what was Pyongyang's second launch in less than a week.

The North "fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles" from North Pyongan province, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, adding they flew 270 and 420 kilometers and the South Korean and US militaries were jointly analyzing them. -- Agence France-Presse

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