South Korean president: North Korea intends 'complete' denuclearization

South Korean president: North Korea intends 'complete' denuclearization
© Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un intends to get rid of his nuclear stockpile and destroy any nuclear materials and facilities to achieve “complete” denuclearization, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Friday.

“By complete denuclearization, he meant to start by stopping additional nuclear and missile tests, and then abolish the facilities that produce the nukes and develop the missiles, and all the existing nuclear weapons and materials,” Moon said, according to a script of an interview with BBC shared with Reuters.


Kim and President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE held a summit in Singapore in June to negotiate North Korea’s denuclearization. While North Korea has not tested any missiles or nuclear weapons since the summit and has returned three U.S. hostages and what the White House says are the remains of fallen service members from the Korean War, the rogue nation has not taken any verifiable steps towards dismantling its nuclear stockpile. 

Moon, who has held three summits with Kim, said after the last one that the North would consider allowing international experts to observe the dismantling of a key missile site and would close the main Yongbyon nuclear complex if the Trump administration took reciprocal actions.

Those actions include formally ending the Korean War, which is technically still ongoing after a truce rather than a peace treaty was signed in 1953, and opening a U.S. liaison office in North Korea.

“Ending the war is a sort of a political declaration to terminate the longstanding hostile relationship between the United States and North Korea, and it would kick off peace negotiations depending on the denuclearization process,” Moon said.

“There is consensus between South Korea and the United States that it is desirable to make the end-of-war declaration at an earliest possible date, so I think it’s a matter of time but it will definitely happen,” he added.

The Trump administration has insisted the North take irreversible and verifiable steps toward denuclearization before it takes any action on sanctions.

Trump said Tuesday that his administration is in the process of planning a second summit with Kim.