SEOUL – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un offered on Wednesday to completely dismantle the Yongbyon complex, the epicenter of the North Korean nuclear program, provided the United States takes measures corresponding with what was agreed upon by both countries at the Singapore summit.
In a joint statement signed on Wednesday by Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at their summit in Pyongyang, both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to eliminate nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula and highlighted the importance of making progress in the issue of denuclearization.
The offer to shut down Yongbyon definitively marks a new step in the exchange of gestures started by the US and North Korea since their historic Singapore summit in June, in which they pledged to work towards the denuclearization of the North Korean regime.
However, despite Wednesday’s offer, the denuclearization process does not have any deadlines or technical specifications for its implementation as yet.
In Wednesday’s declaration, Kim has already committed to completely dismantle the Sohae missile launch base, in the northwest of the country, as an additional sign of his regime’s commitment to nuclear dismantling.
Following his Singapore summit with US President Donald Trump, Kim promised to dismantle key facilities in Sohae, something his regime carried out a few weeks later.
Last week the North Korean leader offered Trump to hold a second summit, something that could translate into a new opportunity to give real shape to the denuclearization process.
Kim also said Wednesday, in a live television appearance with Moon in Pyongyang, that he is set to become the first North Korean leader to visit Seoul, something he said he wanted to do before the end of the year.
Kim already became the first North Korean leader to set foot on southern soil during the first summit with Moon last April on the border between the two countries, technically still at war, and would again be the first to visit the South Korean capital in case what was agreed Wednesday comes into effect.