2 Koreas seek peace, denuclearisation, reunification at historic summit
After entering the Peace House for the inter-Korean summit, Kim wrote in the guest book ‘a new history begins now’ and ‘an age of peace, at the starting point of history’.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in ended their historic summit on Friday in the Demilitarised Zone of Panmunjom with a glimmer of hope and positivity.
The two leaders agreed to pursue a permanent peace treaty and the complete denuclearisation of their divided peninsula.
To begin with, Kim became the first-ever North Korean leader to step on the South Korean soil, when he took a step at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), the world’s most heavily guarded border, separating the two countries.
He then shook hands with Moon, which was the first-ever meeting between the leaders of the two countries after the Korean War ended in 1953.
The inter-Korean summit was also unique as it was the first time in over a decade that it was being held.
The previous two summits were held in 2000 and 2007 in Pyongyang. It was also the first time that the summit was being held in South Korea.
The two Korean leaders were escorted by security guards, with a red carpet laid for them leading to Peace House. During the escort, a traditional Korean folk dance called ‘arigang’ was performed by artists from both the countries.
Kim and Moon jointly inspected a South Korean honour guard as part of an official ceremony to welcome the former.
According to CNN, after entering the Peace House for the inter-Korean summit, Kim wrote in the guest book ‘a new history begins now’ and ‘an age of peace, at the starting point of history’.
Delegation-level talks were held, where the two leaders were engaged on the topics of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, easing military tensions and formulating an official peace treaty to officially end the 65-year-old Korean War.
The Korean War between the two countries took place between 1950-53, which ended with a ceasefire and signing of an armistice agreement.
Technically, both the countries are still at war since no peace treaty has been signed between them.
The two Korean leaders held a ceremonial tree-planting, wherein the two shovelled some soil onto a pine tree that was already in the ground before the leaders arrived.
The tree dates back to 1953, the year when the armistice agreement of the Korean War was signed.
Kim used soil from a mountain on the southern island of Jeju while Moon used earth from Mount Paektu in the north to plant the tree.
The two Korean leaders separately watered the tree with water from the other’s territory respectively.
In a joint declaration after the talks, the two leaders officially inaugurated a document formally called the ‘Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula.’
The declaration read, ‘The two leaders solemnly declare that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and a new era of peace has begun,’ CNN reported.
Kim said that the two Koreas were one united people, who should work together towards the goal of achieving reunification.
“We are not a people that should be confronting each other, we should be living in unity. We have long waited for this moment to happen. All of us,” he said.
“The road I have used today, I sincerely hope every South and North Korean citizen can use this road. We will be able to enjoy peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula without having to fear the war,” Kim added.
The two Koreas agreed to sign a peace treaty formally later this year, ending the six-decades-old war between the two countries.
Moon also reiterated that it marked the rise of ‘a new era of peace’.
The Korean countries organise reunions of families separated by the six-decade-old conflict and will arrange another high-level meeting to be held in mid-June.
Also, military-level talks between the two Koreas are slated to be held soon.
It was also agreed that the leaders of North and South Korea would establish regular contact between each other with the establishment of a hotline.
The South Korean President is also slated to visit Pyongyang later this year, according to a statement released by his presidential office.
Furthermore, the two sides agreed to ‘encourage more active cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts at all levels in order to rejuvenate the sense of national reconciliation and unity’.
Both the Koreas will hold a special meeting on June 15.
The two Koreas will establish a ‘joint liaison office’, in the Kaesong region in North Korea, where the two countries used to operate an industrial complex, CNNreported.
They will also hold reunions for families separated by the division of the Korean Peninsula on August 15. Both sides agreed to stop blasting propaganda speeches through loudspeakers on the DMZ border.
Also, giving a further thrust in sports diplomacy, the two Koreas will jointly participate in the Asian Games in Indonesia in August. The two countries marched under a unified Korean flag and fielded a unified Korean ice-hockey team in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.
Following this, a banquet dinner was held, wherein the spouses of Kim and Moon attended.
At the dinner session, the North Korean leader said, “We need to maintain peace and open a new era of co-prosperity to overcome the challenges facing the Korean Peninsula. We are ready to display a commitment to building peace to the world.”
A sound and light show was held outside the premises of the Peace House, a Korean song called “One dream, One Korea” was sung by South Korean singer Minah, followed by performances from an orchestra of both the Korean countries.
The two Korean leaders held hands during the show and a slideshow was also played to project the events of the summit.
With this, the summit officially came to a close with the respective leaders and their delegations heading back to Seoul and Pyongyang respectively.
Many countries such as China, Russia and Japan and the United Nations (UN) have praised the outcome and positivity of the successful summit. They hoped for ending of hostilities and pressing for peace, denuclearisation and reconciliation of the Korean Peninsula.
Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump claimed credit for the historic meeting between the leaders of two Koreas and declared that peace on the divided peninsula could be achieved and its people could live in harmony.
Hours after the meet, Trump said, “When I began, people were saying that was an impossibility.”
“They said there were two alternatives: Let them have what they have, or go to war. And now we have a much better alternative than anybody thought even possible.” ANI