North and South Korea: Kim and Moon hail new future

Зупинити всі ворожі дії один проти одного КНДР і Південна Корея підписали всеосяжну військову угоду

Hero's welcome for Moon Jae-in carries Pyongyang's hope of nuclear breakthrough

After the leaders hugged each other and moved to their cars, the crowd fervently chanted "Hurrah!" and "Peace and prosperity!" while waving plastic flowers and "Korea-is-one" flags that showed an undivided Korean Peninsula. It also flows from the North's decision to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February, which was regarded as a success for both sides.

While the two leaders expressed cautious optimism for the months ahead, the U.S., a key South Korean ally, expressed concern over the developments.

The September Pyongyang declaration covered a number of topics. Kim especially noted that the military agreement will help to denuclearize the peninsula and reach a lasting peace.

Kim's late father, Kim Jong Il, had promised reciprocal visits when South Korean leaders visited him in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007.

Referring to the repatriation of remains of USA service people killed in the Korean War, which Kim and Moon also discussed, Trump said: "Hero remains to continue being returned home to the United States".

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It came after tensions mounted the previous year, with the North carrying out multiple missile launches and its most powerful nuclear test to date, and Kim trading personal insults and threats of war with US President Donald Trump. The Pyongyang Declaration was not it.

"The biggest outstanding question still remains - what price the North Koreans want to extract from the United States", Fuchs said.

The Olympic games have previously been to the Korean peninsula, all in the South. Moon sat with Chung Eui-yong, South Korea's top security adviser, and National Intelligence Chief Suh Hoon. He expected the agreements signed Wednesday would facilitate dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.

Other agreements aimed at removing some longstanding irritants from their relations - such as allowing more contact between families divided by the Korean War.

Later on Wednesday, Moon's delegation is scheduled to tour the Mansudae Art Studio, the North's largest producer of art and propaganda, which was sanctioned by the United Nations past year. Part of those efforts includes Seoul hosting the Pyongyang Art Company next month and both nations participating in global sporting competitions in 2020.

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"The South and North agreed to actively participate jointly in worldwide competitions including the 2020 Summer Olympics and to cooperate in bidding for the South-North joint hosting of the 2032 Summer Olympics", the statement said.

In order to prevent the influx and spread of disease, Seoul and Pyongyang will enhance the cooperation in the prevention of epidemics, hygiene, and medical care.

The underlying message being delivered by the state propaganda machine is clear - it was the wisdom of Kim that has opened up the way to a brighter future and it is only the stubborn interference of imperialists and reactionaries that can stand in the way. Seoul said Moon would make a short speech.

Trump has maintained that he and Kim have a solid relationship, and both leaders have expressed interest in a follow-up summit to their meeting in June in Singapore. Presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan told reporters it was a restaurant frequented by locals, who would join the South Korean delegation.

North Korea's May Day Stadium is the largest in the world with a reported capacity of 150,000.

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The Defense Ministry official said consultations are underway with the UNC, highlighting that establishing a no-fly zone would not weaken the allies' surveillance abilities to monitor North Korea's military movement.

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