North and South Korea Pledge Peace
Technically still at war, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the Demilitarized Zone, shook hands, and symbolically crossed the low concrete barrier to start a historic summit.
The leaders of North and South Korea signed a historic declaration Friday pledging “no more war” and a common goal of “complete denuclearization” on the Korean Peninsula.
The countries, which technically remain in a state of war, heralded the deal as part of “a new era of peace” after a historic summit.
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.”
The two leaders embraced, and Moon said he would visit Pyongyang in the fall.
This all comes after an extraordinary chain of events, starting with a high-profile visit of the reclusive Kim to China, where he was greeted as a head-of-state and honored with a banquet by China’s President Xi Jingpin. It was also revealed that then-DCI and now confirmed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been communicating with the DPRK, and secretly met with Kim one-on-one in the weeks preceding the North-South Summit.
Before the declaration was signed, China applauded the leaders for taking a “historic step” toward peace. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing that China hopes for “new journey of long-term peace and stability on the peninsula.”
With North Korea’s nuclear weapons program having reached what American policymakers describe as a critical stage, expectations are high that Friday’s talks will lay the foundation for reduced tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.
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.
Wherever events on the peninsula go from here, a historic day for North and South Korea.