The Latest: Moon returns home after North Korea trip


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

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.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in, right, and first lady Kim Jung-sook leave for Seoul at Samjiyon airport in North Korea, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (Pyongyang Press Corps Pool via AP)