North and South Korean leaders promise 'lasting peace' for peninsula

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!”

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 regime’s best deterrent against what it regards as a hostile US.

peaking 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.

 

Benjamin Haas and Justin McCurry

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