CNN  — 

When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his South Korea counterpart, Moon Jae-in, meet next Friday, the most important topic on the agenda is the one on which there has been least clarity: denuclearization.

The term has been bandied about in recent weeks, from Seoul to Washington to Beijing, yet there’s little agreement on what the term means – and confusion could lead to trouble in this week’s summit as well as the planned meeting between US President Donald Trump and Kim.

South Korean officials and Chinese state media have said Kim is willing to discuss denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

On Thursday, President Moon announced North Korea had not raised its long-running demand for the withdrawal of US forces in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons – an apparent concession that analysts greeted with skepticism.

“North Korea has been saying all the right things … they want this summit to occur and they’re doing what it takes to make it happen,” said Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists.

So far, North Korean state media has made no mention of the topic, and public statements by Kim have been vague.

“It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il,” Kim said in Beijing on March 27, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

It elicited a positive response from US President Donald Trump, who said there was now a “good chance” of denuclearization by North Korea.

But are Trump, Kim and Moon talking about same thing when it comes to North Korea giving up its nuclear capabilities?

Denuclearization: What the US and South Korea mean

Over the past decade, denuclearization in North Korea has only ever meant one thing for the United States and South Korea.

Source: CNN reporting

“It’s called CVID – complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement of the North Korean program,” said Josh Pollack, senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

The language has been used consistently by the United Nations Security Council in its resolutions condemning North Korea as far back as October 2006.

“Irreversible,” in the practical sense, aims to ensure the current facilities cannot be reactivated after they’ve been dismantled, Pollack said.

Any denuclearization deal would need to include a series of “verifiable” steps for dismantling North Korea’s program, carried out under the eyes of independent observers, former Australian Prime Minister and diplomat Kevin Rudd told CNN in March.

“Unless there is independent monitoring … any unilateral undertakings by the North Koreans will probably not be worth the paper they’re written on,” he said.

Inspections could be carried out by an international body such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) whose inspectors were previously expelled by North Korea in 2002.

For decades, the US and South Korea have pushed for denuclearization in North Korea.

In 1991, Pyongyang joined Seoul in signing a “joint declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Two years later, North Korea pledged it would dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for international aid.

But every time promises weren’t delivered and pled