Koreas will seek joint bid for 2032 Summer Olympics

South Korean President Moon Jae-in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as they watch an art performance at Pyongyang Grand Theatre

Kim Jong-un has agreed to allow in global inspectors to observe the "permanent dismantling" of key missile facilities, according to Moon Jae-in, South Korea's president.

The North's offer to close the Yongbyon facility was coupled with a pledge to permanently shutdown its missile engine testing facility and launch pad under the watchful eye of worldwide experts.

That's a herculean challenge for North Korea, whose moribund economy, limited transportation infrastructure, lack of facilities for worldwide guests and.

Kim also "expressed the will to continue taking further steps like permanent dismantlement" of the Yongbyon nuclear facility, provided that the United States took "corresponding steps".

Moon is the first South Korean leader to visit Pyongyang in 11 years.

Declaring they had made a major step toward peace, Moon and Kim stood side by side as they announced their joint statement to a group of North and South Korean reporters after a closed-door meeting Wednesday morning.

"If and when" they reach an agreement, they would announce it jointly but not take questions, he said.

US President Donald Trump, who has made North Korean denuclearization a centerpiece of his foreign policy and is facing multiple domestic challenges ahead of mid-term US elections in November, seized upon the agreement using his preferred communications format. "But we aren't afraid of headwinds because our strength will grow as we overcome each trial based on the strength of our nation".

Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, will visit South Korea "in the near future", he said Wednesday after meeting with South Korean president Moon Jae-in.

On Thursday, the last day of his three-day visit, Moon plans to visit Mount Baektu in North Korea with Kim before returning home.

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The summit talks began at the ruling Workers' Party headquarters where Mr Kim and Mr Moon were joined by two of their top deputies - spy chief Suh Hoon and presidential security director Chung Eui-yong for Mr Moon, and for Mr Kim, his sister, Kim Yo Jong, and senior Workers' Party official Kim Yong Chol, according to Mr Moon's office.

Kim has previously committed to working toward denuclearization, in joint statements with both Moon and Trump.

Meanwhile, to help reduce tensions, a new military deal was signed to defuse clashes at the border.

Separated families will be allowed to communicate by letter and video call.

Earlier Tuesday, Moon inspected an honor guard on arrival at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang together with Kim and attended a welcome ceremony. US-North Korean diplomatic relations have seemingly stalled after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suddenly canceled a planned trip to North Korea in August.

Trump welcomed Wednesday's declaration, tweeting that Kim had "agreed to allow Nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations" and adding: "Very exciting!"

North Korea's participation in hosting the Games, which include thousands of athletes from around the world and an even larger number of spectators, would be a watershed event requiring a degree of openness and financial muscle now lacking in the isolated and impoverished country. Seoul said Moon would make a short speech.

Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, tells NPR that keeping the lines of communication open between North and South is paramount.

The next most important summit to watch closely will be the 25 September meeting between Mr Moon and US President Donald Trump in NY.

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