North Korea releases South Korean after illegal border crossing


The talks in the border village of Panmunjom were led by the South's Unification Minister Cho Myoung Gyon and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's committee for peaceful reunification.

He added, "In the future, depending on the progress in the North's denuclearization, there can be an agreement to open a North-U.S. liaison office and the alleviation of sanctions".

The agreements come amid unease in Washington over the speed of inter-Korean engagement.

Moon, on a state visit to France, said he considers France, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, as a key partner in efforts toward peace with North Korea. This drew a fierce reaction from other journalists, who accused the ministry of infringing media freedoms and discriminating against North Korea-born citizens.

Le Figaro on Sunday described Moon as resembling an "Asian Harry Potter", but noted his "steel determination" as he plays a mediating role between the unpredictable U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim.

North Korea hasn't made it explicit what the "corresponding measures" referenced in the September 19 declaration would entail, but it appears increasingly likely that sanctions relief is among these measures. Ri continued that given North Korea's unilateral decision earlier this year to cease nuclear testing and intercontinental-range ballistic missile flight-testing, sanctions should have been relaxed.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday stressed the need to ease worldwide sanctions against North Korea when and if the communist state takes practical steps to denuclearize.

North Korea releases South Korean after illegal border crossing

The Koreas also said they will make a push to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics.

At last month's meeting, Moon and Kim agreed to resume economic cooperation, including relinking railways and roads and reopening a joint factory park and tours to the North's Mount Kumgang resort, when conditions are met.

Passed on the eve of a bilateral summit South Korean President moon Jae-In and the leader of the DPRK Kim Jong-UN in Pyongyang.

At the summit, the third this year between Mr Moon and Mr Kim, the two leaders committed to reviving economic co-operation when possible, voicing optimism that worldwide sanctions could end and allow such activity, and holding a groundbreaking ceremony by the end of the year on the project to connect their roads and railways.

Gen. Vincent Brooks, the commander of the UNC as well as U.S. Forces Korea, said the meeting focused on joining existing armistice mechanisms with the recent inter-Korean initiatives.

The tensions around North Korea's nuclear program, however, have calmed down since the beginning of this year.

In August, a joint inspection plan for the rail project was scrapped after the United Nations Command (UNC), which overlaps with US forces in the South and oversees affairs in the DMZ, refused passage for a test train, military sources said.

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