Kim, Moon agree on Korean Peninsula’s complete denuclearisation

kim , moon
Image: Reuters

Seoul, April 27: The North and South Korea leaders on Friday created history by holding a summit that took place after a gap of over a decade and declared to kickstart a new chapter in the inter-Korean ties.

Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to work together to realise a “complete” denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

The agreement was part of a joint declaration issued after South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a summit earlier in the day at the truce border village of Panmunjom, reports Yonhap News Agency.

“South and North Korea affirmed their shared objective of achieving a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearisation,” said the declaration signed by both the leaders.

They shared the view that the recent steps that the North had taken were “very meaningful” and “important” for denuclearisation efforts and agreed to do their respective part in that matter, the declaration said.

The two Koreas had earlier agreed to denuclearise their countries and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula in their two previous summits held in 2000 and 2007.

The summit started in the border village of Panmunjom after the leaders met for the first time at the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) inside the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone, reports Yonhap News Agency.

“It is good to see you,” Kim said to Moon, waiting just south of the MDL for their first-ever face-off that was quickly followed by a handshake.

“I cannot stop my excitement as we meet here at such a historical place. Also, it is very moving that you, Mr. President, have come to Panmunjom, the demarcation line, to greet me,” the North Korean leader stated.

Kim Jong-un surprised many by inviting Moon to briefly cross the inter-Korean border to the North Korean side, which South Korean officials said was not pre-planned.

The talks started at 10.15 a.m., about 45 minutes after Kim crossed the MDL, becoming the first North Korean leader to do so since post 1950-53 Korean War.

“I say this before President Moon and many journalists here that I will hold good discussions with President Moon with a frank, sincere and honest attitude and make a good outcome,” Kim said at the start of the meeting, televised live.

The South Korean leader expressed his gratitude to Kim for agreeing to hold the summit.

“The moment Chairman Kim crossed the Military Demarcation Line, Panmunjom became a symbol of peace, not a symbol of division. I wish to again express my respect to Chairman Kim Jong-un’s decision that made today’s discussions possible,” he said.

The meeting came amid thawing ties this year that followed a height of tension between the North-South Korea.

Pyongyang staged around a dozen of missile tests since Moon became President in May 2017, while also conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September.

Today’s summit marked the third inter-Korean summit and the first to take place in South Korea.

“I wish for it to be a chance for us to walk forward hand-in-hand while looking toward the future with a determination, instead of (summit) outcomes like those in the past that could not be implemented,” he told Moon.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the two Koreas had agreed to denuclearise their countries and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula in their two previous summits held in 2000 and 2007.

“The world’s eyes and ears are directed toward this place, Panmunjom. The expectations of the people of both the South and the North, as well as our overseas citizens, are also very high,” Moon said.

He further stated, “I wish our talks too will be held frankly, so we can reach an agreement and create a great present for our people and everyone else in the world who wishes for peace”.

Moon will also host a welcoming dinner later in the day for Kim and possibly his wife, Ri Sol-ju.


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