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North, South Korean leaders to meet again in Pyongyang on Sept. 18

All national dailies wrote in their Thursday evening editions that South Korean President Moon’s top security adviser Chung Eui-yong briefed the press on Thursday about the results of his delegation’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Wednesday, including the agreement reached between the two Koreas to hold another summit meeting on Sept. 18-20 in Pyongyang. This will be the third meeting between President Moon and Chairman Kim following their talks on April 27 and May 26.


The papers wrote that according to Chung, Chairman Kim told the ROK delegation that he is committed to completely denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and is ready to cooperate closely with the United States. Kim reportedly added that his confidence in President Trump is unchanged and expressed his readiness to improve ties with the United States during President Trump’s first term. However, he also reportedly expressed his dissatisfaction with what he called the lack of appreciation in the international community for his denuclearization measures, including the dismantlement of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. On the idea of issuing an official declaration of the end of the Korean War, Kim reportedly said that such a declaration would be unrelated to a scaling back of the U.S.-ROK alliance or withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea.


All national dailies ran follow-up stories on Friday. Asahi and Nikkei wrote that Kim Jong Un did not refer to any additional denuclearization measures at his meeting with the ROK delegation. Asahi wrote that it remains to be seen whether the planned inter-Korean summit will produce results because the sanctions on Pyongyang are unlikely to be relaxed unless the DPRK takes additional steps to denuclearize. Nikkei wrote that attention will be focused on whether Chairman Kim will present concrete measures. Mainichi wrote that attention will be focused on whether the upcoming summit will contribute to progress in talks between the United States and the DPRK, which have different views on issuing a declaration of the end of the Korean War. Yomiuri conjectured that the GOJ is hoping that the inter-Korean summit will lead to a breakthrough in the U.S.-DPRK denuclearization talks, quoting Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga as telling reporters on Thursday that Tokyo hopes that efforts by the two Koreas will lead to concrete actions to implement the agreements reached between the United States and the DPRK.

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