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Two Koreas seek accelerated denuclearization, Seoul says

By Elizabeth Shim
Two Koreas seek accelerated denuclearization, Seoul says
South Korea has delivered a message to the United States from North Korea, Seoul’s presidential office said Friday. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 7 (UPI) -- South Korea's presidential office said Friday the two Koreas agreed to "speed up" the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishent of a peace regime, a day after South Korean envoys said Kim Jong Un desired denuclearization during U.S. President Donald Trump's first term.

Presidential Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters at a regular press briefing Seoul hopes the United States will take corresponding measures to the latest inter-Korea developments, Yonhap reported.

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The North Korean leader reportedly told the visiting South Korean delegation, led by President Moon Jae-in's national security adviser Chung Eui-yong, he was prepared to accept "stronger measures" to curtail his nuclear weapons program and looked forward to declaring the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

On Friday Kim Eui-kyeom declined to comment on a nuclear timetable for the North.

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"Since we have delivered North Korea's message to the United States, we expect President Trump and U.S. policymakers will seriously deliberate and bring forward measures," Kim said.

The South Korean spokesman also said summits in September will make way for an end-of-war declaration, the chief objective of both Koreas.

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Moon will meet with Kim Jong Un Sept. 18-20 in Pyongyang, then meet with Trump during the United Nations General Assembly.

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"We are working diligently" toward the declaration, Kim said, while asking for the "understanding" of the press corps.

North Korea's message has been delivered to White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, Seoul said.

The latest inter-Korea developments come at a time when President Moon's approval rating has dipped below 50 percent.

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According to South Korea's National Election Survey Deliberation Commission, Moon's approval rating now stands at 49 percent, local newspaper Hankyoreh reported.

Respondents are concerned about sluggish economic growth, according to the report.

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