Pyongyang summit ‘an audacious step’ towards denuclearization, end of Korean War

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, left, meets with his North Korean counterpart Ri Son Gwon at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone to discuss next month’s summit between the Korean leaders. (Yonhap via Reuters)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Pyongyang summit ‘an audacious step’ towards denuclearization, end of Korean War

SEOUL: A third summit of Korean leaders planned for next month will be a further step toward denuclearization of the peninsula and a peace treaty to end the Korean War, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to work toward denuclearization at a landmark summit in Singapore with US President Donald Trump in June, but the two countries have since struggled to agree on how to reach that goal.
Advancement in ties between North and South Korea is the “driving force” behind denuclearization, Moon said in a speech, lauding Monday’s pact for next month’s summit in Pyongyang, the North’s capital.
The two leaders will “take an audacious step to proceed toward the declaration of an end to the Korean War and the signing of a peace treaty as well as the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Moon added.
The neighbors remain technically in a state of war since the Korean War of 1950 to 1953 ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.
Moon said he hoped for speedy progress in talks between the US and North Korea, with steps by Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programs matched by “corresponding comprehensive measures” from Washington.
“When the deep-rooted distrust between the two Koreas and between the North and the US is lifted, the mutual agreement can be implemented,” he said on the peninsula’s 73rd anniversary of liberation from Japanese rule, which lasted from 1910 to 1945.
During their first summit in April, Moon and Kim had agreed to push for an end to the Korean War together with the US this year, but Washington has said its focus is on denuclearization, although Trump in Singapore had promised security guarantees for the North.
“When peace is established on the Korean peninsula along with complete denuclearization, economic cooperation can be carried out in earnest,” Moon said.
Plans to build a railway across the peninsula will kick off this year, he added, proposing an East Asian railroad community that groups China, Japan, Mongolia, Russia and the US.
Moon seeks to resume business cooperation with the North, including the railroad and a joint industrial park, but has been cautious because of international sanctions, chiefly spearheaded by Washington, over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.
Moon said he aimed for “unification economic zones” along border provinces when military tension eases and there is lasting peace.
He estimated cross-border economic cooperation could be worth at least 170 trillion won ($149.9 billion) over the next 30 years, citing a study by a state-run think tank.


Four Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir battle with militants

Updated 3 min 27 sec ago
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Four Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir battle with militants

  • Government forces have launched a massive hunt for militants in parts of the disputed region since Thursday’s bombing
  • Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947

SRINAGAR, India: At least four soldiers died Monday in a fierce gunfight with rebels in Indian-administered Kashmir just four days after a suicide bomber killed 41 paramilitaries in the troubled territory, officials said.
One soldier and one civilian were also critically wounded in the shootout as troops launched a search operation in Pulwama district where the suicide bomber struck on Thursday.
“Four soldiers were killed during the shootout and another one is injured,” a senior police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The official said the soldiers fired warning shots and the militants fired back, unleashing the firefight in the district 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the main city of Srinagar.
The official added that the rebels were believed to have escaped.Publishing optionsPublished, Promoted to front page
Government forces have launched a massive hunt for militants in parts of the disputed region since Thursday’s bombing that India has blamed on Pakistan.
An explosives-packed van rammed a convoy transporting 2,500 security forces in the deadliest attack in Kashmir in 30 years.
Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947. Both countries, which have fought two wars over the territory, claim all of Kashmir.
Tens of thousands of people, mainly civilians, have died in Kashmir since an armed rebellion broke out in 1989.