North Korea, South Korea begin ‘era of no war’

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in says he was told by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that he wants a second summit with President Donald Trump as soon as possible and the U.S. secretary of state to come to Pyongyang for nuclear talks.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in answers a reporter's question after returning from North Korea at a press center for the inter-Korean summit in Seoul, South Korea.

Emphasizing the North's determination to denuclearize, Moon said, "The terms "dismantlement of the missile engine test site under the observation of experts" and "permanent dismantlement" used in the Pyongyang Declaration have the same meaning as 'verifiable and irreversible disarmament'".

Moon said he and Kim spent most of a three-day summit discussing how to break an impasse and restart nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington, which are at odds over which should come first, denuclearization or ending the war.

After signing the Pyongyang Declaration on Wednesday, Kim said he and Moon had "pledged to make the Joseon (Korean) Peninsula a land of peace without nuclear weapons or nuclear threats", vowing to take additional steps toward denuclearization.

While North Korea has stopped nuclear and missile tests in the past year, it did not allow global inspections of its dismantling of its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in May, drawing criticism that its action was for show and could be reversed. Compared to the vague language of their two earlier summits, Kim and Moon seem to have agreed on an ambitious program meant to tackle soaring tensions a year ago that had many fearing war as the North tested a string of increasingly powerful weapons.

Agreeing to a declaration on ending the Korean War before North Korea has reduced its offensive threat - including the thousands of artillery guns it has trained on USA ally South Korea - is opposed by many who fear that the North is maneuvering to win a withdrawal of the almost 30,000 US forces in the South. "I now propose that we completely eliminate the hostility of the past 70 years and take a big step forward in peace so that we can become one again".

"He's calm, I'm calm - so we'll see what happens", Trump, who previous year threatened to destroy North Korea, told reporters.

It would be the first such trip by a North Korean leader since the Korean War ended in an armistice, leaving the peninsula divided and technically still in a state of war, and Moon said the historic journey could happen later this year.

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"He hoped a second summit with Trump would take place in the near future, in order to move the denuclearization process along quickly".

"Such measures should be taken in a balanced manner between North Korea and the United States", he said.

Though Wednesday's inter-Korean agreement failed to stipulate the North's commitment to declare nuclear and missile facilities for inspection and eventual decommissioning, Seoul has been in talks with both Pyongyang and Washington over the issue, a senior South Korean official said.

Meanwhile, however, Moon and Kim made concrete moves of their own to reduce tensions on their border.

He made the announcement at the press briefing that followed the signing of the Pyeongyang Joint Agreement on Wednesday.

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Moon was given a standing ovation by tens of thousands of North Koreans at the stadium, which holds 150,000 people.

They also agreed to withdraw 11 guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone by December and to establish a no-fly zone above the military demarcation line that bisects the two Koreas that would apply to planes, helicopters and drones.

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