South Korea's Moon Jae-in attends Pyongyang Mass Games

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The United States is ready to engage in talks with North Korea "immediately", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says, with the aim of completing North Korea's denuclearisation by January 2021.

Last year Mr Trump engaged in a war of rhetoric with Mr Kim in which he threatened to destroy North Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, centre right, and his wife Kim Jung-sook, shake hands with staff of Paekhwawon State Guesthouse before leaving for the Mount Paektu on Thursday.

Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, stepped into the shallow waters of Heaven Lake, regarded as the spiritual home of the Korean people, bent down at the knee and scooped up a glassful of water.

Washington meanwhile is still demanding concrete action towards denuclearisation, such as a full disclosure of North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities, before agreeing to key goals of Pyongyang.

However, while containing several tantalizing offers, it appears to fall short of the major steps many in Washington had been looking for - such as a commitment by Pyongyang to provide a list of the North's nuclear facilities, a solid step-by-step time line or an agreement to allow global inspectors in to assess progress or discover contraventions.

The two leaders also said Kim will visit Seoul sometime before the year is out, which would make him the first North Korean leader to visit the South Korean capital since the two sides split in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Mr Trump has questioned the rationale and cost of keeping 28,500 USA troops based in South Korea.

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"We absolutely can not let this hard to come by opportunity for peace slip away once again", the Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said in a statement.

This week's summit comes as Moon is under increasing pressure from Washington to find a path forward in efforts to get Kim to completely - and unilaterally - abandon his nuclear arsenal.

The process had stalled after the historic Singapore summit between Trump and Kim in June, when Kim declared his backing for the denuclearization of the peninsula but no details were agreed.

Mr. Trump said they would wait and see what North Korea does next.

After the two leaders pledged new steps aimed at salvaging nuclear talks on Wednesday, Moon and Kim made a decision to use the final day of their three-day summit to go up the symbolic mountain on the Chinese border together.

According to a statement signed by the countries' defence chiefs, the two Koreas agreed to establish buffer zones along their land and sea borders to reduce military tensions and prevent accidental clashes.

At a performance of the North's spectacular "Mass Games" propaganda display, Moon made an unprecedented address by a South Korean leader to a Northern crowd, telling them that Koreans had lived together for 5,000 years. Moon also appeared to be making good on his proposals to help build up the North's infrastructure and open cross-border rail links. "In the meantime there will be no Rocket or Nuclear testing".

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