Koreas open 1st liaison office for better communication

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At a landmark meeting June 12 with US President Donald Trump, North Korea's Kim Jong Un pledged to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

Chung Eui-yong, Moon's national security adviser, met Kim in Pyongyang earlier this month, and said the North Korean leader told him that an end-of-war declaration would not weaken the U.S.

Whether Moon succeeds, fails or falls somewhere in between, the third inter-Korean summit could help answer a persistent question: When Kim says he supports the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", what does he actually mean?

The North was "willing to denuclearise", Moon said on Thursday, while the USA was willing to "end hostile relations" and provide security guarantees, "but there is a blockage as both sides are demanding each other to act first".

Visiting research fellow Cheon Seong Whun, with the Asian Institute for Political Studies, told VOA there is fundamentally one issue the global community needs to focus on at the summit.

For Friday's meeting, Kim Sang-gyun, a National Intelligence Service senior official who visited Pyongyang on September 5, led the South Korean delegation to the working-level talks.

However, the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyung Nam University's Professor Kim Dong-yub said denuclearization is not the focus of the upcoming summit.

South Korean (L) and North Korean officials hold working-level military talks at the truce village of Panmunjom on September 13, 2018, in this photo provided by Seoul's defense ministry.

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The discussion appears to be part of efforts to enforce the April summit agreement to turn the areas around the NLL into a "maritime peace zone" in order to prevent accidental military clashes and guarantee safe fishing activities.

FILE - In this image made from video provided by North Korean broadcaster KRT, missiles are displayed during a parade at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017.

South and North Korea on Friday launched their joint liaison office, thereby securing a platform for round-the-clock communication that is expected to ease tensions between the two nations.

Gen. Vincent Brooks, who commands the UNC and U.S. Forces Korea, authorized the movement of South Korean vehicles and personnel across the so-called Military Demarcation Line in the eastern transportation corridor, the command said in a statement.

"As we establish the trust step by step, it will get a fruitful outcome", said Lee. "On Monday, the White House announced that, in response to the "very warm, very positive" note from Kim, Trump was now ordering his staff to plan for a second Trump-Kim summit meeting".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Russian Federation on Friday of actively working to undermine global sanctions on North Korea and said the enforcement of the steps was essential to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

The working-level dialogue will cover detailed schedules, security and protocol for the summit, which will take place from Tuesday to Thursday.

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