Koreas open joint liaison office in Kaesong

US-led command approves South Korean border crossings into North Korea

Two Koreas open first liaison office since World War II

PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In unveil a special dessert during a banquet at the House of Peace in the border village of Panmunjeom, April 27, 2018. But those channels have often been suspended when tensions rose over North Korea's nuclear program.

Mr. Moon is to fly to Pyongyang next Tuesday for a three-day trip.

It is located in Kaesong on North Korea's side of the border, about 60 km (37 miles) from Seoul and 141 km from Pyongyang.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the enforcement of United Nations sanctions on North Korea was critical to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

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The North was "willing to denuclearize", Moon said Thursday, September 13, 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".

Since US President Donald Trump and Mr Kim met at a historic meeting in June, little progress has been made on North Korean denuclearisation.

"President Moon will be placing the utmost impetus on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Last month, Trump abruptly cancelled a planned visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pyongyang, after the North condemned "gangster-like" demands for what it called its unilateral disarmament.

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The launch came days before the leaders of the two Koreas are to meet in Pyongyang for their third summit this year. He said he will focus on facilitating talks between the United States and North Korea and finding ways to ease the military standoff along the Koreas' heavily fortified border.

The Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice, not a peace treaty, and both sides remain technically at war.

Both Koreas are calling for a declaration by the end of the year, but the USA wants to see more concrete steps toward denuclearization first, and some analysts say a declaration could put pressure on the USA to withdraw its troops from South Korea.

Top US diplomat Pompeo on Friday said the United States is "as committed as ever to continuing to enforce those UN Security Council resolutions".

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"Over the weekend, Trump praised Kim for sending him an encouraging letter, publicly suggesting that he was open to denuclearization by the end of Trump's first Presidential term", Glasser writes. The comments were seen as an important departure from North Korea's previous stance. If Moon can't convince Kim to express a commitment to concrete denuclearization steps, he will at least have to get Kim to put the things Chung has said he was told in a written agreement, said Du Hyeogn Cha, a visiting scholar at Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies. "The Panmunjom Declaration after the first summit only provided a time limit for the end-of-war declaration, which was the end of 2018; on denuclearization, the statement just said the Koreas would jointly work toward it", Cha said.

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