Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

North, South Korea agree to pursue joint 2032 Olympic Games bid

North, South Korea agree to pursue joint 2032 Olympic Games bid

"The North expressed its willingness to continue taking additional steps, such as permanent shutdown of the Yongbyon nuclear facility, should the United States take corresponding measures under the spirit of the June 12 North Korea-US joint statement", the declaration said, as quoted by Yonhap.

"We agreed to make active efforts to turn the Korean peninsula into the land of peace without nuclear weapons or nuclear threats", Mr Kim said.

Mr. Kim said he will visit Seoul in the near future, in what would be the first-ever visit to the South's capital by a North Korean leader.

According to aides to Mr Moon, Mr Trump has asked the South Korean President to be "chief negotiator" between himself and Mr Kim, after the US President cancelled a trip to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month citing lack of progress in nuclear talks.

Although it was not clear what "corresponding" US steps North Korea expected as a condition to make good on the promise to shut down Yongbyon, President Trump, in a tweet just after midnight Wednesday, appeared to deem the summit a success, calling it "Very exciting!".

The Korean leaders' surprisingly substantive summit announcement is a huge step toward a durable peace on the Korean Peninsula - and a Nobel Peace Prize for Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in. But experts said the document only contained vague promises that would do little to curb the North's nuclear program.

Kim's latest promises come days before Moon meets Trump in NY on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly next week.

The so-called "Agreement on the Implementation of the Historic Panmunjom Declaration in the Military Domain" was signed by Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo and North Korean Minister of the People's Armed Forces No Kwang Chol in Pyongyang.

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With the main business of the day complete, North Korea was expected to hold a huge mass games spectacle in the evening, with Moon as the special guest.

North Korea's participation in hosting the Games, which include thousands of athletes from around the world and an even larger number of spectators, would be a watershed event requiring a degree of openness and financial muscle now lacking in the isolated and impoverished country.

"Thanks to that meeting, the situation around the Korean Peninsula has stabilized, and we can now expect more progress", Kim said at the start of a two-hour meeting with Moon at the headquarters of the ruling Workers' Party, according to pool reports from South Korean journalists in Pyongyang. But previous moves meant to show good faith, in particular the destruction of a cooling at its Yongbyon nuclear complex in 2008, have fizzled.

The two Koreas agreed to begin construction to reconnect railways and roads linking the countries within this year.

"These are good-faith gestures which will likely facilitate further and more substantive negotiations", Madden said, adding a second summit between Kim and Trump was "highly probable". "There is going to be a lot of work to do to make [North Korea's denuclearization offer] materialize".

The International Olympic Committee traditionally does not announce host cities until seven years ahead of the games, giving the Koreas until 2025 to put together a joint bid.

Moon and Kim resumed their talks on Wednesday at around 10 a.m. (0100 GMT), this time without any other attendees.

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