Hailing a “new era of peace”, North Korea leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, sealed their talks on Friday with a joint declaration, and a bear hug, reaffirming their commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. The historic summit also agreed to push for three or four-way talks involving the US and China to replace the Korean armistice with a peace treaty.
Meetings between leaders of the two Koreas have occurred in the past, in 2000 and 2007, but in each of those instances, the South Korean president travelled to Pyongyang.
“It took a long time for the two Koreas to come together and to hold hands and we have long waited for this moment to happen, all of us,” Kim Jong Un said.
“As I stand here today I can see that South and North Koreans are the same people, they cannot be separated. We are compatriots… We should not be confronting each other, we are the same people and should live in unity. I hope we will be able to live very peacefully in the future, as soon as possible.”
Kim expressed hope that one day South and North Korean citizens would be able to use the same road that he had to reach the summit.
The two sides also agreed to set up a liaison office, continue future talks and reintroduce the long-stalled reunions of families separated by the division of the two Koreas.
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in also vowed to “cease all hostile acts” and to “transform the Demilitarized Zone into a peace zone.”
North Korea and America
Donald Trump has reacted positively to the meeting of Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in. On Twitter Friday morning, he said: “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.”
The proposed meeting between Kim and Trump would be the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. It is not clear when it would take place, although American officials have said it could be from late May to mid-June. Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden and Mongolia have all been cited as possible venues.