North and South Korea opened a joint liaison office in the Northern city of Kaesong on Friday as they knit closer ties ahead of President Moon Jae-in's visit to Pyongyang next week. But North Korea has given no indication it is willing to give up its weapons unilaterally, as the Trump administration has demanded.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in is expected to fly to Pyongyang for the first time next week in the hopes of accelerating worldwide efforts to denuclearize North Korea.
But Kim has since sent Trump a letter seeking a second summit and held a military parade for his country's 70th birthday without showing off any intercontinental ballistic missiles, prompting warm tweets from the USA president and raising hopes of progress.
The South Korean government also coordinated the crossing of delegations for a planned opening ceremony on Friday of a new liaison office in Kaesong, which is just north of the DMZ and was the site of a defunct joint business venture.
PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In unveil a special dessert during a banquet at the House of Peace in the border village of Panmunjeom, April 27, 2018.
The Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice, not a peace treaty, and both sides remain technically at war.
"One of the roles we should play in the middle is to find the point of contact and present it, and expedite dialogue again to accelerate the denuclearisation process".
They will deal with an equal number of North Korean officials stationed at the office to discuss various inter-Korean issues, exchange messages from their capitals and facilitate civilian exchange programmes, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.
But then conservative President Park Geun-hye's government shuttered it in 2016 in response to the North's nuclear and missile tests.
Man dies from injuries suffered in shark attack off Cape Cod
Booth said it was a quiet day at the beach, and he saw some people boogie-boarding before he noticed some commotion in the water. He also said the heavy presence of seals and quickly moving or jumping throngs of fish may signal the presence of a shark.
US officials say they have already made their own conciliatory gestures, including halting joint military exercises with South Korea.
The city was South Korean in 1950 and was captured by North Korean troops in the opening minutes of their June 25 invasion - troops infiltrated the city aboard an unscheduled train and launched an assault directly off the platform.
Russian Federation and China have suggested the Security Council discuss easing sanctions after the Trump-Kim summit, while Washington and other council members have said there must be strict enforcement of sanctions until Pyongyang acts.
South Korea launched its first ever missile-capable attack submarine on 14 September, despite a recent diplomatic thaw with the nuclear-armed North.
Trump thanked Kim on Twitter, saying, "This is a big and very positive statement from North Korea". However, with Seoul wary of angering Washington over breaches of UN Security Council sanctions, there is no indication that is about to happen.
In his opinion, the bulk of discussions will focus on military issues.
"The import of North Korean coal already demonstrates that South Korea has not vigorously imposed U.N/U.S. sanctions", said Bruce Bennett, a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California.
But Moon's desire to advance ties with the North despite little progress on denuclearisation has raised alarm bells in Washington, with US officials worrying it could weaken Pyongyang's resolve to disarm.
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