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People's Daily Online

DPRK shows willingness to talk "candidly" with U.S. about denuclearization, normalized ties

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:27, March 07, 2018

SEOUL, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has shown willingness to talk "candidly" with the U.S. side about the denuclearization issue and normalized ties between Pyongyang and Washington.

It was made known by Chung Eui-yong, top national security adviser for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who led a 10-member special delegation of the South Korean president and visited Pyongyang for two days from Monday. Chung held a press briefing on Tuesday in the presidential compound to explain the result of the two-day visit.

Chung returned South Korea earlier in the day, and in Pyongyang, he met top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un on Monday night together with four other special envoys, including Suh Hoon, director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), South Korea's spy agency.

After Kim expressed the willingness in his New Year's speech to participate in the 23rd Winter Olympics, the DPRK sent athletes, cheerleaders and artists, as well as high-ranking delegations, to the South Korea-hosted winter sports event.

Amid the emerging dialogue mood, South Korean President Moon and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to delay the annual joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises during the Olympic and Paralympic period. They shared a possibility for the inter-Korean talks naturally leading to a dialogue between the DPRK and the United States.

Chung, the security adviser for Moon, and Suh, the intelligence agency chief, will visit Washington in the near future to explain to the U.S. side about the result of their visit to the DPRK. They are highly likely to meet with Trump, according to some local media reports.

After their Washington trips, Chung will visit China and Russia to share the outcome of talks with the DPRK leader, while Suh will travel to Japan, according to the Blue House.

Meanwhile, the DPRK confirmed its will to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, making it clear that if military threats toward Pyongyang are removed and its safety is guaranteed, the DPRK has no reason to maintain its nuclear program, according to the Blue House.

South Korea and the DPRK agreed to hold the third inter-Korean summit talks in late April.

The first and second inter-Korean summit meetings were held in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007 respectively.

Working-level talks for preparations for the third meeting between the leaders of the two sides will be held going forward.

South Korea and the DPRK also agreed to set up a hotline between the leaders to ease military tensions and closely coordinate. The first talks through the hotline will be held before the summit scheduled for late April.

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