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North Korea open to denuclearisation if military threat is removed, says South

07 March 2018
South Korea’s National Security Office Chief, Chung Eui-yong (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shake hands after Chung delivered a letter from South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the main building of the Workers Party of Korea in Pyongyang on 5 March. Source: Cheong Wa Dae

North Korea’s leadership has agreed to hold its first summit with leaders from the South since 2007 and is open to discuss the issue of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, the government in Seoul announced on 6 March.

“The South and the North have agreed to hold a third inter-Korean summit at the Peace House at the Panmunjom truce village in late April,” said South Korean National Security Office Chief Chung Eui-yong after returning from a two-day trip to Pyongyang where he led a South Korean special delegation and met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“The North clearly expressed its commitment to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and said it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons should the safety of its regime be guaranteed and if military threats against the North were removed,” said Chung.

The senior presidential security adviser also said that the North expressed its will to have a “candid dialogue” with the United States to discuss the issue of denuclearisation and the normalisation of ties between Pyongyang and Washington.

“The North clearly stated that it would not resume any strategic, provocative acts such as additional nuclear tests or the firing of ballistic missiles. As the talks continue, they also vowed neither to use any nuclear weapons nor any conventional weapon toward the South,” he added.

Moreover, Chung said that Seoul and Pyongyang would work together on more detailed working-level negotiations, adding that they also agreed to set up a hotline between the leaders of the two countries to ease military tensions and to enhance close consultations. The first telephone conversation is expected to be held before the planned inter-Korean summit, he added.

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