The Blue House said Wednesday that Moon was offered several times in the past to climb Mount Paektu from the Chinese side, but declined because he wanted to climb it from the North.
Because Moon must create a positive atmosphere for Kim's visit to Seoul, he needs to coax more progress from the North on denuclearization, said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser for Moon.
Trump, characteristically, hailed the result of the talks in Pyongyang between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in as "very exciting" and a sign of "tremendous progress" in his effort to get North Korea to denuclearize, which Kim agreed to do in vague terms when he met with Trump himself in Singapore in June.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after signing the joint statement in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 19, 2018.
Moon plans to return to South Korea later Thursday, but the leaders are still basking in the glow of the joint statement they settled Wednesday.
A representative of the State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Those factors combine to put time on Moon's side: North Korea already has nuclear weapons but nearly certainly will not use them unless attacked.
Snyder, also chief Korea analyst at the council, said intent was largely based on a better-than-expected outcome from the third inter-Korean summit this year with the North's Kim committing to move toward abandoning its nuclear programs, subject to corresponding moves by the United States.
"I don't think, however, there's a big change on the denuclearization", Hill said.
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Yoon refused to say whether any other presents were shared between the two Korean leaders, saying it was not customary to discuss the topic.
"I think it's beneficial that [denuclearization] was raised as a topic", Paal said.
Paal added that absence of specific steps toward denuclearization "reflects (the) current status of the impasse between the sides on this issue".
This week, Kim promised to allow outside experts to observe the dismantling of a missile engine test site and launch pad. "Kim is the magician we are being conditioned to believe".
"We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat", Kim said.
At face value, a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War seems like a good thing.
However, without more trust-building from the U.S., the Kim regime will not put down its weapons.
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. Pyongyang has long sought their withdrawal and Trump has questioned their rationale and cost.
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"For instance, the commitment to shutting down the Yongbyon complex is premised on reciprocal US measures, which raises difficulties", Ankit Panda, editor of The Diplomat, told BBC News.
Bruce Klingner, a onetime intelligence officer specializing in Korean affairs who is a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said evidence points to the contrary. "Which Korea has committed countless acts of terror, war, threatened and killed [citizens of] the other Korea?"
According to reports, the Trump administration has insisted that North Korea take a unilateral, complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation, known as CVID. "We have lived together for 5,000 years and lived in separation for 70 years".
Members of Trump's administration are concerned that such a declaration could be used to undermine the justification for the presence of USA forces in South Korea.
"We are not going to fall into that trap", Keane said. Kim vowed to move toward denuclearization if the United States takes steps of its own.
North Korea now faces worldwide sanctions that limit nearly all of its exports and strongly limit imports from its few trading partners.
The most obvious candidate is Walkerhill, which is where Kim's sister stayed during her visit to Seoul. "But all of the United Nations and USA sanctions and targeted financial measures are a response to North Korean illegal or aberrant behavior".
The North's decision to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February triggered a dramatic diplomatic turnaround on the peninsula this year. "He seems honest in trying to end problems in the Korean peninsula".
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The joint statement from the summit stipulates Kim's commitment to a "verifiable, irreversible dismantlement" of the nuclear programmes, and ending the war would be a first United States reciprocal step, Moon said.