Kim Jong Un will walk across border for summit with Moon

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has offered his deep apologies to China after a bus crash in his isolated country killed 32 Chinese tourists, state media said on Thursday.

Kim will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the military demarcation line (MDL) dividing the two Koreas at 9.30 a.m., Xinhua quoted the Blue House as saying.

Kim has overseen a rapid acceleration in the North's weapons capabilities, with Pyongyang past year carrying out by far its most powerful nuclear test to date and launching missiles bringing the U.S. mainland within reach.

"In view of the research finding that the North Korea nuclear test site at Mantapsan has collapsed, it is necessary to continue to monitor any leakage of radioactive materials that may have been caused by the collapse", the authors said in a summary dated Monday and viewed Wednesday on the university's website.

In upcoming talks between the United States and North Korea, one of the key details is a mystery at a 7,200-foot-high point in the country's north: Mount Mantap.

A man watches television news showing file footage of North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea on April 21, 2018.

"In the process (preparation of the meeting - ed.) they (North Korea - ed.) were open in their desire to carry out denuclearization".

In recent days Seoul has promoted the idea of a path towards a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which stopped with a ceasefire, but Im did not mention the issue.

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Should the summit fail, "it may actually bring us closer to war as we will have exhausted all diplomatic options", Victor Cha, a Georgetown University professor and senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said at a U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing earlier this month.

Reunions of families left divided by the conflict could also be discussed, and Moon has told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he would raise the emotive subject of Japanese citizens kidnapped by the North's agents.

Moon and Kim will start their first tete-a-tete from 10:30 a.m. local time (0130 GMT) to discuss issues on peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, Moon's chief of staff said.

When that is concluded, they are expected to sign a pact and make a joint announcement. The soil will come from Mount Paektu, on the North's border with China, and Mount Halla, on the South's southern island of Jeju.

A banquet and farewell ceremony will follow in the evening before Kim returns to the North.

The North Korean delegation will consist of Kim plus nine officials, including his sister Kim Yo-jong, Kim Yong-chol, a former spymaster accused of launching attacks on the South, and Choe Hwi, a top official who has been sanctioned by the United Nations.

A study published last month by the journal, authored by a team led by Liu Junqing at the natural disaster bureau in Jilin province along the border with North Korea, found similar results of the September 3 explosion.

While the anticipated meeting is considered a welcome respite from those escalating tensions, the stakes are high if it doesn't result in any progress on limiting the North's nuclear capabilities.