South, North Korea declare commitment to full denuclearization, ending war

South, North Korea declare commitment to full denuclearization, ending war

GOYANG, April 27 (UPI) — The two Koreas have reached a landmark ‘Panunjom Agreement’ to achieve full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and agreed to pursue a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War.

South and North Korean leaders Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un signed and declared a joint agreement Friday after wrapping up their two-part summit talks at the Peace House building on South Korea’s side of the Panmunjom border village that divides the two Koreas.

In the three-part document, “the South and the North have agreed that the main measures taken by North Korea are very significant and important measures for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” agreeing to fulfill their responsibilities and roles in the future.

Moon and Kim also decided to pursue a formal end to end their state of war and replace the current armistice with a peace treaty through trilateral efforts with the United States, or a four-way meeting including China.

South and North Korea are technically still at war as their 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice signed by the U.S.-led United Nations Command, North Korea and China.

Seoul and Pyongyang will also refrain from using force on one another and take measures to ease military tensions and build trust through a step-by-step process, according to the document.

The historic meeting between the two leaders began at about 10:15 a.m. Seoul time.

Shortly before their first closed-door meeting, Kim told Moon he felt their meeting was at the “starting line” of a new chapter in history, headed for peace and abundance on the Korean Peninsula.

“I came with the heart to hold good talks with President Moon Jae-in and produce good results,” he said, expressing his hope for further meetings.

He also recounted there had been many agreements between the two sides in the past but they were useless as they were not executed, before issuing hope that he and Moon would meet regularly.

Moon responded that Kim’s walk across the border between the South and North had turned the landmark of division into a symbol of peace.

Friday marked the first time a North Korean leader had crossed the MDL since the 1950-53 Korean War. It is the first time a summit has been held on the Southern side of the border.

In a surprise move, Kim invited Moon to step onto the Northern side as well, before they crossed over for about 10 seconds, hand-in-hand.

The finer details of denuclearization and negotiation on the terms are expected to be addressed by Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, during their proposed summit in the coming weeks.

Trump has said the meeting is likely to occur in late-May or early June.