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Two Koreas open joint liaison office in North - pool report

16 September 2018

Russian Federation and China have suggested the Security Council discuss easing sanctions after the Trump-Kim summit, while Washington and other council members have said there must be strict enforcement of sanctions until Pyongyang acts.

The result will likely be a crucial indicator of how the larger nuclear negotiations with the United States will proceed. "We believe they are central to President Trump's efforts to convince Chairman Kim that full, final denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is necessary", he said.

Whether Moon succeeds, fails or falls somewhere in between, the third inter-Korean summit could help answer a persistent question: When Kim says he supports the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", what does he actually mean?

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

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The wave of optimism that surrounded the first two inter-Korean summits in April and May and the Singapore meeting between Trump and Kim in June conveniently overlooked disagreements about what exactly Kim had committed to. But its operation was suspended in 2016 amid an escalating standoff over North Korea's long-range rocket launches. "But, regrettably, I see that possibility as low".

The North was "willing to denuclearize", Moon said Thursday, September 13, while the United States 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".

So far, there has been no concrete progress made on the American effort to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

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. These projects are held back by the sanctions against North Korea. "We can not cease our efforts to mediate and facilitate talks from the middle until dialogue and communication between North Korea and the United States flow smoothly".

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

Ri expressed hope that the office will help the two Koreas improve their relations and serve as a stimulus to peace and prosperity on the peninsula. "The process can't have anything to do with a plan to denuclearize unilaterally".

The U.N. Security Council will meet on Monday over the implementation of sanctions on North Korea at the request of Washington. The late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il invited South Korean president Kim Dae-jung to Pyongyang in 2000 and Roh Moo-hyun in 2007.

The liaison office is in Kaesong, where South Korean firms once employed tens of thousands North Korean workers in a jointly run industrial park that symbolised peaceful engagement.

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The office is the first of its kind since the two countries were divided at the end of World War II in 1945.

Two Koreas open joint liaison office in North - pool report