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North and South Korea agree to establish a “peace zone”

 

At a summit between the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un and the President of  South Korea, Moon Jae-in, the two countries agreed to work towards peace with an official end to the dispute and establishment of a “peace zone” on the contested border.

Peace had not been officially declared since the war ended in 1953. Though talks of peace establishment had taken place in the past, there was no permanent action.

The official declaration said, “The two leaders declare before our people of 80 million and the entire world there will be no more war on the Korean peninsula and a new age of peace has begun.” The included statement establishes to reduce the use of military arms, stop “hostile acts” and communicate with the United States and other countries.

The Koreas hoped to declare an official end to the war by the end of this year but the event date is not decided upon.

Donald Trump expressed his interest to meet with Mr. Kim, looking forward to a productive meeting. He nonetheless added, “We will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations. Maximum pressure will continue until denuclearisation occurs.”

UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, was hopeful too but told reporters at Nato headquarters, but added: “I don’t think that anybody looking at the history of North Korea’s plans to develop a nuclear weapon would want to be over-optimistic at this point. But it is clearly good news that the two leaders are meeting.”

China, North Korea’s main enemy, was also positive about the meeting. A foreign ministry spokeswoman said amiably it was a “new journey of long-term peace and stability on the peninsula”.

The summit had an amicable touch and Mr. Moon even asked Mr. Kim: “You have crossed into the South, but when do I get to go across?”, to which the North Korean leader replied: “Why don’t we go across now?” They stepped briefly into North Korea holding hands before continuing southward shortly after 9.30am local time.

The people of South Korea did not know how to let out their joy and some wept while some cheered.

However, the two leaders were not very clear with the details of “denuclearization”. Maeng Ju-seok, a businessman said, “North Korea promises denuclearisation, but there’s nothing. The government gave up a lot for nothing in return.”

 

Credit Source: Jon Sharman, Andrew Griffin & Donald Kirk, Independent

 

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