North and South Korean leaders promise ‘lasting peace’ for peninsula
Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in pledge denuclearisation and end to decades of hostility after summit
The leaders of North and South Korea have promised after a landmark summit to bring lasting peace to the peninsula with a commitment to denuclearisation and to ending decades of hostilities.
Speaking at the end of an extraordinary day that began with a lingering handshake across the demarcation line separating their countries, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, issued a joint statement that was short on detail but offered cause for optimism as the world looks ahead to a summit between Kim and Donald Trump.
The US president, in his first comments on the declaration, tweeted: Good things are happening, but only time will tell! He later added: KOREAN WAR TO END!
Speaking at the White House, Trump warned that the US was not going to be played by North Korea, later the US president said he was getting close to choosing a venue for talks with Kim. Were setting up meetings now, he said. Were down to two countries… and well let you know what that site is.
At a joint press conference with Angela Merkel, Trump said: Maximum pressure will continue until denuclearisation occurs. I look forward to our meeting, which will be quite something.
The Panmunjom declaration, named after the truce village that hosted the talks on Friday, committed the two Koreas to seek the complete denuclearisation of the peninsula.
South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realising, through complete denuclearisation, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, it said. South and North Korea shared the view that the measures being initiated by North Korea are very meaningful and crucial for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, and agreed to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities in this regard.
The statement did not specify what Pyongyang expected in return for abandoning its nuclear weapons the regimes best deterrent against what it regards as a hostile US.
Speaking outside the peace house on the southern side of the border that has divided the Korean peninsula for 65 years, the leaders also pledged to push for talks with the US, and possibly China, to formally end the 1950-53 Korean war with a peace treaty to replace the uneasy truce that stopped hostilities.
Noting that more than a decade had passed since the countries leaders last met, Kim and Moon agreed to talk regularly by phone and meet more often, starting with a summit in Pyongyang in autumn.
They vowed to work more closely on a host of bilateral issues, including reuniting families divided by the Korean war and improving cross-border transport links.
Months after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest level following North Korean missile launches and its sixth nuclear test, Moon said he and Kim were aware that the hopes of 80 million North and South Koreans rested on their shoulders.
We were able to stand together today and agree that we should denuclearise the Korean peninsula, Moon said, according to a translation provided by South Koreas Arirang TV.
With Kim standing nearby behind a separate podium, he said. To completely denuclearise, we declare that we will cooperate to bring about an everlasting peace on the peninsula.