Long-time Enemies Choose Peace Instead of War
North Korea and South Korea have chosen peace over war as long-time adversaries signed a historic pact that will formally end the Korean War 68 years after it began.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in met to sign the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula. The document commits the two countries to a nuclear-free peninsula and talks to bring a formal end to the Korean War.
Both leaders met on the line that separates the divided Koreas. It was the first time a North Korean leader had ever set foot in the South.
The historic summit lasted for 8½-hours in the demilitarized zone. The leaders ended the summit with a formal dinner and a toast.
The Panmunjom Declaration in Focus
In the historic accord or known as Panmunjom Declaration, North Korea and South Korea said in the joint declaration that they shared the goal of “realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”
The accord also calls for restarting reunions of families separated by the Korean War, and the establishment of an inter-Korean liaison office on the northern side.
The leaders of the two nations also agreed to halt tensions and start talks with the U.S.
“We will work towards preventing another horrible war,” Mr. Kim said after signing the joint declaration. “With one language, one culture and one history, North and South Korea will be joined as one nation.”
Hailed By Many
The historic summit between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea was widely-watched by the international community and was hailed by leaders around the world.
Donald Trump, due to meet Kim Jung-un in the coming weeks, hailed the end of the Korean war. The American president signaled his support of Mr. Moon’s position, writing early Friday on Twitter: “Good things are happening, but only time will tell!” Fifteen minutes later, he declared in an all-caps tweet, “KOREAN WAR TO END!” and said that all Americans should be “very proud” of what was taking place on the Korean Peninsula.
Aside from that, all the key players in the region have welcomed the agreement including China and Japan. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it is ready to facilitate cooperation between North and South Korea.
Peace in the Horizon
North Korea and South Korea have been on the world stage in recent months as both long-time adversaries were resuming official talks, sparking speculation for a realization of a peace agreement.
There were obvious moves by both nations for a next step to strike a reconciliatory note. In fact, North and South Korea are negotiating a joint statement that could focus on a path to the end of the war.
A hotline between the leaders of North and South Korea went live on Friday. The hotline connects South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s desk at the presidential Blue House with North Korea’s state affairs commission.
The friendly moves come ahead of the April 27 summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.