South Korea's president says North Korea agrees to dismantle missile sites

South Korea's president says North Korea agrees to dismantle missile sites

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Wednesday that he would make a trip to Seoul "in the near future" in what would be the first such visit since the partition of the Korean Peninsula decades ago.

The Tonchang-ri missile pad is now expected to be closed permanently, but the dismantlement of the Yongbyon nuclear facility will be dependent on U.S. actions.

The president has expressed frustration with Pyongyang in recent weeks, and he canceled a visit to the North by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in August amid stalled negotiations.

The two sides have "agreed on a way to achieve denuclearisation", Mr Moon said.

"North-South relations have now entered a new era", President Moon tweeted earlier.

The joint declaration, later released by Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, showed the North's agreement on denuclearization steps.

North Korea agreed on Wednesday to "permanently" abolish its key missile facilities in the presence of foreign experts, and said it is willing to close its main nuclear complex if the United States takes unspecified "reciprocal action".

The second day of summit talks took place Wednesday at Baekhwawon state guesthouse in Pyongyang, North Korea.

But discussions over how to implement the vague commitments have since faltered, with Washington demanding concrete action towards denuclearisation by Pyongyang before agreeing to key goals of Pyongyang - declaring an official end to the Korean War and easing tough global sanctions.

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Afterwards, Kim said his "historic" summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in June had improved regional stability and raised hopes for further progress.

Kim made the announcement during a three-day summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang that began Tuesday, the third such meeting this year.

The South's defence minister and the head of the North Korean military also signed an agreement.

The two leaders outlined their path to peace at a joint press conference.

Possibly signaling a breakthrough, Trump welcomed the outcome of the inter-Korean summit in a Twitter message.

The Korean leaders also said the North would dismantle a missile engine test site and launch pad in the presence of outside inspectors, and would seek to host the 2032 Summer Olympics together.

It was not clear what Trump meant by nuclear inspections.

In previous, failed talks, North Korea has said it could consider giving up its nuclear programme if the United States provided security guarantees by removing troops from South Korea and withdrawing its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from the South and Japan. Moon also said Kim would try to visit Seoul sometime this year.

Also, the countries will reopen their joint industrial park in the North's border town of Kaesong and tourism programs to the North's Mount Kumgang as soon as "conditions are met", the agreement said. Its reopening, however, may violate worldwide sanctions imposed on the communist state.

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