North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-In have agreed to finally end a 7-decade war this year, and push for “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
After a historic meeting on their shared border, the two leaders announced the deal. Also, it’s the first time a North Korean leader has set foot on the southern side.
The countries have technically been at war since 1950 and no peace treaty has been signed to replace the 1953 armistice that ended open hostilities.
Kim and Moon announced they would hold military talks next month and seek a “phased disarmament,” without providing more details. They announced plans to formally declare a resolution to the war and turn the current armistice into a peace treaty by year’s end.
The two sides “reaffirmed their mutual goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization.” “South and North Korea agreed to make efforts to win support and cooperation of the international community for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” according to the statement.
Much of the agreement mirrors previous deals between North Korea and Moon’s liberal predecessors. It appeared aimed at restoring cooperation that had deteriorated over the past decade.
“Era of Peace”
Kim Jong-Un apparently called for more meetings with his South Korean counterpart after becoming the first North Korean leader to cross the border to hold talks over his nuclear weapons program.
Kim made the offer to South Korean President Moon Jae-in as the pair met Friday on their militarized boundary for the first summit between the rival governments in 11 years. Both men basked in the symbolism of the moment. Kim declared “a new history” and an “era of peace,” while Moon said the “weight on our shoulders is heavy.”
The meeting — the third between leaders of the nations since the Korean War and the first since 2007 — will go a long way in determining whether Kim can eventually strike a deal with U.S. President Donald Trump.
The event marked Kim’s first live, unfiltered appearance on world television: South Koreans gathered rapt around screens to watch Moon lead him past a military honor guard while a band played “Arirang,” an unofficial Korean anthem.
“I felt a flood of emotion as I walked the 200 meters here,” Kim told Moon as talks began.
“I came here with a mindset that we will fire a flare at the starting point of a new history for peace and prosperity. Let’s get everything off our minds out here and get good results.”
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