Panmunjom Declaration Permanently Ends Korean War

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In a seeming victory for world peace, the heads of state of both North and South Korea have agreed to seek after lasting peace between their two countries as well as the full nuclear disarmament of the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, were seen not only embracing each other, but engaging in a significant handshake at the Military Demarcation Line that separates their two nations. Together, their announcement read that they are in pursuit of “the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.”

Sixty-five years after the Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, the two nations have decided to also pursue a complete end to the war.

The whole world was witness to shows of friendship and warmth between Mr. Kim and Mr. Moon.

In the fall, Mr. Moon is scheduled to pay a visit to Pyongyang, and the two leaders have also agreed to hold “regular meetings and direct telephone conversations.” 

This joint Panmunjom Declaration comes as a complete surprise to the whole world, since just six months ago North Korea was regularly testing its missile launch capabilities.

Mr. Kim is the first North Korean leader to walk into South Korean territory since the Korean War. He and Mr. Moon held hands as they walked from North to South Korean territory. Their destination was the Peace House in Panmunjom village, where the summit was held. “I came here determined to send a starting signal at the threshold of a new history,” Mr. Kim said.

This is the third summit of its kind. The other two, in 2000 and 2007, also featured gestures of affection from leaders of both sides, but ultimately failed to achieve peace. Mr. Kim said that this time they would not “repeat the unfortunate history in which past inter-Korea agreements… (which) fizzled out after beginning”.

President Moon had hailed North Korea’s announcement last week of the halt of nuclear and long range missile testing to be “very significant.”

The summit in Panmunjom  is seen to open the way for the scheduled meeting later this year of Mr. Kim with US President Donald Trump.

The atmosphere between the leaders of North Korea and the US grew charged over Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear tests blasts. President Moon, however, has said that this summit at Panmunjom allowed him to arrange for a meeting between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.

In a statement, the White House has expressed that this meeting would “achieve progress toward a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean Peninsula.”

The US is demanding for North Korea to destroy its nuclear weapons completely, and North Korea in turn seeks guarantees of security. In his one and only foreign trip to Beijing in March, Mr. Kim said that he was hopeful for peace tp be achieved.

The summit at Panmunjom was also marked with the leaders jointly planting a tree on the demarcation line, and then they and their spouses attended a banquet before Mr. Kim returned to North Korea.