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North Korea Crisis

Questions linger over denuclearization on eve of Korean summit

Moon and Kim will try to close the gap with no deal struck in advance

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, has expressed optimism about finding common ground on denuclearization at his meeting Friday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.   © Kyodo

SEOUL -- Despite the meticulous preparations by North and South Korea ahead of Friday's historic summit, one central question has yet to be decided: whether the two leaders can reach an accord on denuclearization.

Unusually, the matter was not sorted out in working-level talks ahead of the meeting and will instead be negotiated directly between the leaders, according to Im Jong-seok, South Korean President Moon Jae-in's chief of staff. The degree to which they will agree on denuclearization -- which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has expressed a willingness to consider -- and the language to be used in a planned joint statement have yet to be decided, Im told reporters Thursday.

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