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Kim open to 'stronger' denuclearization measures, says Seoul

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Kim open to 'stronger' denuclearization measures, says Seoul

The leaders of North and South Korea have agreed to hold a three-day summit in Pyongyang starting Sept. 18 to discuss "practical measures" to achieve denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Reuters reported, citing South Korean national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong.

Chung said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "reconfirmed his determination to completely denuclearize" the Korean peninsula, and was willing to cooperate closely with South Korea and the U.S. in the matter, said Reuters.

Chung added Kim "expressed strong willingness that he can take even stronger measures for North Korea's denuclearization, if there is reciprocation to the North's earlier measures," Bloomberg News reported. Kim also stressed the need for a declaration to formally end the Korean War, and that such a step would not require the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Chung said.

In June, U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim pledged to work toward the complete denuclearization of the region after a historic meeting in Singapore. However, talks between the two sides have reached an impasse since Trump canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's trip to North Korea in August, citing a lack of "sufficient progress" being made with regard to denuclearization.

Washington and Pyongyang have disagreed on whether denuclearization or moving toward the normalization of bilateral relations by declaring the end of the Korean War, which was ended by an armistice and not a peace treaty, should come first. Technically, the U.S.-led United Nations forces, including South Korea, are still at war with North Korea.

Chung met with Kim in Pyongyang on Sept. 5 with other South Korean envoys sent by President Moon Jae-in to set the timing and agenda for the inter-Korean summit, which would be the third in 2018.