North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told his South Korean counterpart at their historic summit that he would be willing to give up his nuclear weapons if the U.S. commits to a formal end to the Korean War and a pledge not to attack the North, Seoul officials said Sunday.
The official KCNA news agency carried the text of the leaders' Panmunjom Declaration in full and said the encounter opened the way "for national reconciliation and unity, peace and prosperity".
A flurry of diplomacy is unfolding in the lead-up to that meeting, with China saying it will send the government's top diplomat, Wang Yi, to North Korea on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
Many South Koreans were struck by the live TV images during the summit of a smiling and joking Kim.
Most time zones around the world are set on the hour, but some differ from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) by 30 or even 45 minutes - Myanmar's is half an hour behind its neighbour Thailand's, for example.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has shaken off a suggestion that he receive the Nobel Peace Prize, saying that U.S. President Donald Trump "can take the Nobel prize" as long as the Koreas receive peace in return.
But Kim said there were two additional, larger tunnels that remain "in very good condition" beyond the existing one, which experts believe may have collapsed. Seoul says North Korean leader Kim plans to shut down the country's nuclear test site in May and reveal the process to experts and journalists from the United States and South Korea.
The Abe administration hopes a Tokyo-Pyongyang summit will provide an opportunity to make progress toward resolving the issue of the North's abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the North's nuclear and missile programs. "When I left, Kim Jong Un understood the mission exactly as I described it today". According to state media, he felt a "painful wrench" to see two clocks showing different times for the two Koreas at bilateral meetings.
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Japan has been conveying its intention to hold a summit with North Korea via Sweden and Mongolia amid reports of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's interest in holding a dialogue with Tokyo, a Japanese newspaper said Monday.
Some analysts see Moon's agreement with Kim at the summit as a disappointment, citing the lack of references to verification and timeframes and also the absence of a definition on what would constitute a "complete" denuclearization of the peninsula.
On its part, South Korea announced that it would remove loudspeakers from across the border used to blare propaganda.
And while Pyongyang says it will close its nuclear test site next month, Kim and Moon did not outline concrete measures to be taken to achieve that goal of denuclearisation.
Republican Senator James Lankford, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, criticised Trump for calling Kim "very honourable" on Twitter last week. Mike Pompeo said, "We're not going to make promises".
China is North Korea's only major economic partner, but trade has declined by about 90 percent following Beijing's implementation of economic sanctions imposed over the North's nuclear and missile tests. The problem is that we know so little about decisionmaking in North Korea, that we slide back toward looking at foreign influences. Kim's friendly gestures, they said, could turn out to be nothing more than empty promises aimed at lifting sanctions on his isolated country. "It is not clear that the Trump administration will accept that kind of protracted program".
"We see this as the easiest first step to build military trust", South Korean defence ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo said.
The two Koreas had been engaged in Cold War-era psychological warfare since the North's fourth nuclear test in early 2016.