North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un stepped into South Korea on Friday and met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a historic summit in which the two proclaimed that the war between the two countries would end and a “new era of peace” was a part of their future.
The two men also stated that they were committed to a “complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”
The signing of a deal to end war was just the beginning.
“We solemnly declare to our 80m Koreans and the world that there will no more war on the Korean peninsula and a new era of peace has begun,” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in said in a joint statement. “It is our urgent historic assignment to put an end to this current abnormal state of ceasefire and establish a peace regime.”
“We have agreed to share a firm determination to open a new era in which all Korean people enjoy prosperity and happiness on a peaceful land without wars,” Kim said.
The two leaders also agreed that they would hold military talks in May and set up a joint liaison office in Kaesong, just to the North.
“South and North Korea agreed to actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” according to the joint statement.
“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,” he added. “Let’s get everything off our minds out here and get good results.”
South Korea’s presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan relayed what Moon told Kim.
“Kim Jong-un said that he came here to put an end to the history of conflict, discuss and remove obstacles between us with the South Korean president. He said let’s meet more often and we should be determined not to go back to square one,” said Young-chan. “Kim also said let’s live up to all the expectations and create a better world.”
“The two leaders had a sincere and frank dialogue over the denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace of the Korean peninsula and development of inter-Korea ties,” the spokesman added.
— Jeffs (@jeffs_araujo35) April 27, 2018
The two then planted a pine tree together.
“Just like a pine tree, I hope that we can always be green, even in winter time,” Kim told Moon.
“Yes, it will be like that,” Moon said in response.
“Eyes and ears from all over the world are focused on Panmunjom,” Moon added. “I feel the weight on our shoulders is heavy.”
Whether this will be something that is solid and sincere on both sides remains to be seen. Time will tell.
Youngshik Bong, a researcher at Yonsei University’s Institute for North Korean Studies in Seoul said, “The commitment to ‘complete denuclearization’ is ambiguous, and subject to different interpretations. It can be interpreted as North Korea getting rid of all warheads, or North Korean demands on the U.S. military in South Korea.”
“It’s off to a good start, but there must be a concrete commitment by Kim on denuclearization,” he added. “Otherwise it will end up as a fancy show.”
I completely agree.
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