From September 18 to 20, South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited North Korea and held approximately five hours of meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. During the summit, their third since April 2018, the two leaders issued a Pyongyang Joint Declaration pledging denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, improvements in inter-Korean relations, and confidence-building measures to ease military tension. Kim promised to visit Seoul "at an early date."

The Moon-Kim summit has created potential opportunities and obstacles for the United States. The summit appears to have injected new momentum into North Korea-U.S. denuclearization talks, which had stalled in the months after President Trump's summit with Kim in Singapore in June. Meeting with Moon days after the inter-Korean summit, President Trump said that he and Kim would be holding a second summit "in the not too distant future." The September inter-Korean summit, however, also may have constrained the United States' freedom of action, particularly if North Korea does not follow through on its pledges.

Major Outcomes