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Kim Jong Un hails recent talks as 'turning point' in inter-Korea relations

The North Korean leader made the remarks during a meeting where according to North Korea state media he announced the dismissal of key military personnel in a reorganization.

By Elizabeth Shim
Kim Jong Un hails recent talks as 'turning point' in inter-Korea relations
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the high-level talks between North and South Korea were a turning point and the first step to building a path toward trust and reconciliation. File photo by Rodong Sinmun/Yonhap

SEOUL, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the recent talks between Seoul and Pyongyang marked a "turning point" in relations – and state media reported he has dismissed members of North Korea's Central Military Commission without providing specific details.

Kim's announcement was televised on Friday, local time, on state television KCNA. South Korean news network YTN reported it was the first time Kim has spoken publicly of the North-South talks that ended with a landmark agreement to defuse tensions.

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Kim said the talks had removed the dark clouds of war over the Korean peninsula, and that North Korea played a leading role in overcoming a volatile situation that drew close to an armed conflict.

The North Korean leader said the high-level talks were a turning point and the first step to building a path toward trust and reconciliation. Kim said North Korea should work to sustain the outcome of recent negotiations, and that they must bear fruit for the future.

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South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Kim also credited North Korea's nuclear deterrence for the peaceful outcome of the recent negotiations, and that he addressed North Korea's armed forces.

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"I send a warm message of gratitude to the North Korean people and our soldiers, who were convinced of war's victory even in the face of calamity and ruin," Kim said.

The North Korean leader said the soldiers must tend to flood relief efforts in the country's northeast, where torrential rains have led to massive flooding that have killed at least 40 people.

RELATED North Korea airs footage of floods that killed at least 40

Kim's reported dismissal of members of the Central Military Commission has prompted speculation in Seoul of his reasons for taking action against personnel.

Yonhap reported Kim's announcement of a restructuring following the dismissal of key members may be related to members of the military who oversaw North Korean land mines inside the DMZ.

South Korea has said the land mine explosions that injured two South Korean soldiers in early August were placed south of the Military Demarcation Line by North Korea. Pyongyang has denied involvement.

RELATED North Korea negotiator says more dialogue needed for improved relations

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