The first session of talks between the two leaders were held on Tuesday afternoon, a few hours after President Moon, along with his wife, arrived at Pyongyang’s international airport and were warmly welcomed by Kim and his wife.
A team of high-ranking officials and some South Korean business tycoons also accompany President Moon, who is holding his third summit meeting with Kim. The two previous meeting, in April and May, had been held at the border village of Panmunjom, Presstv Reported.
The summit is aimed at hammering out a consensus on officially ending the 1950-53 Korean War, improving inter-Korean ties, easing tensions along the two neighbors’ border, the most militarized in the world, and reviving stalled denuclearization talks held in Singapore between the North’s leader and US President Donald Trump back in June.
During the three-year-long Korean War, a United Nations force led by the US fought for the South, and China fought for the North. The fighting ultimately ended when 1953 Korean War Armistice Agreement was signed. However, no peace treaty has ever been signed since then, meaning Washington and Seoul are technically still at war with Pyongyang.
“Thanks to that, the political situation in the region has stabilized and I expect more advanced results,” Kim told Moon, referring to the Seoul-brokered Singapore gathering, at the start of their talks.
Moon, for his part, expressed gratitude for Kim’s “bold decision to open a new era”, adding that it was “time to bear fruit.”
The first session of the talks, which lasted for almost two hours, was held at the headquarters of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee. On Wednesday, the two leaders plan to hold a second day of official negotiations after which they are expected to issue a joint statement, and a separate military pact formed to resolve tensions and end armed clashes. President Moon will return home early on Thursday.
Earlier this year, Kim declared an intention to bring economic prosperity to his country, long subjected to harsh international sanctions due to his country’s pursuing of nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
During the Singapore meeting between Kim and Trump, the pair made a broad agreement but Pyongyang has denounced what it has called “gangster-like behavior” by the US since then. The North says Washington has betrayed the spirit of the summit by making unilateral demands on the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, while putting the sanctions in place.
Pyongyang has firmly defended its military program as a deterrent against the hostile policies of the US and its regional allies, including South Korea and Japan. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.