The Latest: S. Korean diva sings at North Korean volcano

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, second from right, stands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from left, and his wife Ri Sol Ju, left, on the Mount Paektu in North Korea, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (Pyongyang Press Corps Pool via AP)

The Latest: South Korean pop diva sings to Korean leaders at North Korean crater lake

SEOUL, South Korea — The Latest on the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (all times local):

8 p.m.

A South Korean pop singer has belted out a beloved Korean folk song in front of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a crater lake atop a volcano North Korea considers as sacred.

Singer Ali was among the South Koreans who joined the leaders on a trip to Mount Paektu on the North Korean-Chinese border hours before they returned home on Thursday after three days of summit talks between Moon and Kim.

Ali sang a version of "Arirang," used in both Koreas as an unofficial anthem for peace.


7:40 p.m.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in says North Korea's agreement to allow international experts to observe a "permanent" dismantling of a missile engine test site and launch pad equals a commitment to "verifiably and irreversibly" demolish those facilities.

Moon's comments on Thursday came a day after he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced a joint statement in which the North also expressed willingness for a "permanent" dismantling of its main nuclear facility in Nyongbyon if the United States takes corresponding measures.

The statement did not specify the level of access foreign experts will have when they observe the dismantling of the missile engine test site and launch pad in northwestern North Korea.

Moon says such steps combined with North Korea's unilateral but unverified dismantling of a nuclear testing ground earlier this year would prevent the North from advancing its weaponry through further nuclear and missile tests.

Experts say the destruction of the missile engine test site and launch pad wouldn't represent a material step in denuclearization of North Korea, which declared its nuclear force as complete last year and has designed its most powerful missiles to be fired from vehicles.


7:30 p.m.

South Korea's president says he will discuss with President Donald Trump next week the issue of a declaration ending the 1950-53 Korean War.

President Moon Jae-in spoke with reporters Thursday after returning home from a three-day trip to North Korea that included his third summit with leader Kim Jong Un.

Moon and Kim are pushing for the end-of-war declaration by December. Moon says he and Kim have agreed such a "political declaration" has nothing to do with any pullout of 28,500 U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea.

Moon says he will raise the issue with Trump when he meets him next week in New York.


7:15 p.m.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in says he was told by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he wants the U.S. secretary of state to come to Pyongyang for nuclear talks. Kim also wants a second summit with President Donald Trump as soon as possible.

Moon was briefing reporters Thursday after returning to Seoul after a three-day summit in Pyongyang with the North Korean leader.

Moon says he will carry a private message from Kim for Trump when he meets the U.S. president in New York next week at a U.N. meeting.

Moon also says he'll convey to Trump his and Kim's desire to get a declaration ending the Korean War by the end of this year. The 1950-53 war still technically continues because it ended with a cease-fire not a peace treaty.

Such a declaration would be the first step toward a formal peace treaty, but the U.S. is worried that it could result in Kim pushing for the removal of U.S. troops from South Korea.


5:45 p.m.

South Korea's president has returned home following a trip to North Korea for his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Local media pool footage showed a plane carrying President Moon Jae-in landing at a military airport near Seoul on Thursday.

Moon is expected to brief journalists about his three-day trip to North Korea.

In Pyongyang, Moon and Kim struck a set of agreements that included some North Korean disarmament steps that experts say won't satisfy U.S. demands.


4 p.m.

South Korea says President Moon Jae-in is returning home after three days of summit meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Moon's office said the president's plane left Thursday after the two leaders visited the sacred Mount Paektu on the North Korean-Chinese border.

It's unclear whether Moon will speak to reporters after his arriving in South Korea on Thursday.

Moon and Kim announced several agreements during their summit aimed at ensuring peace on the peninsula.


2:40 p.m.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have visited a crater lake atop a volcano considered sacred in North Korea on the last day of Moon's visit for summit talks on the nuclear standoff and other inter-Korean affairs.

Dressed in long black coats and accompanied by their wives, Kim and Moon raised their grasped hands while posing in front of the lake at Mount Paektu on Thursday. The leaders rode together in a cable car to reach the lake.

Moon says relations between the rivals should improve so that more South Koreans can visit the volcano. Kim say Mount Paektu has become a "subject of yearning" for South Koreans and Koreans living abroad.

Moon plans to return to the South later on Thursday.


10 a.m.

A stone marker commemorating South Korean President Moon Jae-in's visit to Pyongyang has the wrong dates carved on it.

The stone was unveiled during a tree-planting ceremony attended by Moon and senior North Korean official Choe Ryong Hae on Wednesday.

The carving saying "Commemorating Visit to Pyongyang. Sept. 18-21. South Korean President Moon Jae-in" temporarily confused journalists who wondered if Moon's visit had been extended a day.

Moon plans to return to South Korea on Thursday, or Sept. 20. Moon's office says North Korean workers made a mistake.


9:50 a.m.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are visiting a volcano the North considers sacred on the last day of Moon's visit.

South Korean officials said Thursday that Moon traveled by plane to an airport near Mount Paektu where Kim arrived first to greet him. They then rode vehicles to the mountain on the North Korean-Chinese border.

Moon plans to return to South Korea later on Thursday.

The volcano topped with a deep crater lake is at the heart of North Korea's foundation mythology and used to legitimize the Kim family's dynastic rule.

Members of the Kim family are referred to as sharing the "Paektu Bloodline." The mountain is also emblazoned on the national emblem and lends its name to everything from rockets to power stations.


9:20 a.m.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has delivered a speech to a massive North Korean crowd gathered for mass games, calling for the rival Koreas to end seven decades of hostility and build a future of peace and prosperity.

Moon, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and their wives attended the performance of "The Glorious Country" at Pyongyang's May Day Stadium on Wednesday night where they observed thousands of performers working in precise unison. South Korea says the mass games drew about 150,000 spectators.

Moon said in his speech: "We have lived together for 5,000 years and lived in separation for 70 years. I now propose that we completely eliminate the hostility of the past 70 years and take a big step forward in peace so that we can become one again."

Historians say the 5,000-year timeline of Korean history is a groundless claim that became part of South Korea's official narrative after being inserted in school textbooks during the rule of former dictator Chun Doo-hwan.

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