THE leaders of North and South Korea agreed on Friday that they would create a “new history” by agreeing to work together for lasting peace on the Peninsula, the culmination of a summit at the truce village of Panmunjom.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced that the end of 2018 would be the deadline for replacing the Armistice Agreement of 1953 with a peace treaty, reported South Korea’s official news agency Yonhap.
The two countries are still technically at war with one another.
“From now on, we will never go back,” said Moon, standing next to Kim. “As we took this audacious step to achieve South-North peace, co-prosperity and reunification, which is the desire of the Korean people, on our own.”
— CNN (@CNN) April 27, 2018
Friday’s summit – the first between the leaders of the Koreas in more than a decade – resulted in a commitment to “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula. The so-called Panmunjom declaration also committed to trilateral or four-way negotiations with the US and China.
Kim is expected to meet US President Donald Trump in late May or early June, in what will be an unprecedented first encounter between incumbent leaders of the two countries.
Trump welcomed the Korean talks. “After a furious year of missile launches and Nuclear testing, a historic meeting between North and South Korea is now taking place. Good things are happening, but only time will tell!” he said on Twitter.
KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2018
Kim said there was a need to end the “unfortunate history” between the two Koreas.
The two Korean leaders also agreed to turn the Dimilitarised Zone (DMZ) into a “genuine peace zone” and create a “peace sea” at the two countries’ Yellow Sea border. Moon said he would visit the North Korean capital of Pyongyang this year.
Nevertheless, Kim Young-Hee, Head of the North Korean Economy Department at Korea Development Bank told Reuters that “everything will not be resolved in the blink of eye. Denuclearisation needs to happen in certain phases, which could lead to easing sanctions, then to resuming economic cooperation projects.”
“Kim Jong Un was speaking live to the world today. Kim wants to come across as a reliable leader about what he said today, and his efforts look certain to have achieved meaningful progress,” said Kim Dong-Yub, a Professor at Kyungnam University’s Institute of Far Eastern Studies.
“Kim is at least taking steps in order to achieve a nuclear-free peninsula, which is warming up the mood, then making sure military activities disappear and show willingness to denuclearise.”
Additional reporting from Reuters.