April 27, 2018 20:24
President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Friday evening ended their historic summit with a broad commitment to work toward "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The agreement came in a joint statement that was strong on principles but vague on details after the two leaders had spent most of the day deep in discussion.
"There will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and a new age of peace has opened," they said before sitting down to dinner in the truce village of Panmunjom.
The two leaders agreed to push for multilateral talks involving the U.S. and possibly China to replace the armistice that halted the Korea War with a proper peace treaty within this year. The two Koreas technically remain at war.
Efforts to reduce military tensions will include a complete halt to hostilities, including a stop to propaganda broadcasts and distribution of leaflets.
The two sides also vowed to hold further talks on humanitarian matters like reunions of families separated by the Korean War on the occasion of Liberation Day on Aug. 15. They also pledged to set up a liaison office in the North Korean border town of Kaesong.
At 9:30 a.m., Moon welcomed Kim, who walked across a graveled strip of border and briefly invited Moon to step over the line into North Korea as the two leaders held hands. They inspected an honor guard decked out in historical costume before sitting down for talks with a small entourage in a specially refurbished meeting room.
At the end of the day, which also saw the two leaders plant a pine tree symbolizing peace and prosperity and take a walk together out of earshot of the press and other officials, Moon said their agreements will be a "great present to the entire world."
"The two leaders held serious and honest discussions on ways to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, establish permanent peace and develop South-North Korea relations," said presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan.
Moon will visit Pyongang in the fall to reciprocate Kim's visit and Kim also said he could visit Cheong Wa Da if he is invited.
The evening is given over to a dinner attended by both leaders and their wives. Kim's wife Ri Sol-ju arrived at Panmunjom around 6:15 p.m. with another score of North Korean officials, including Hyun Song-wol, the head of the Samjiyon Orchestra that staged performances in South Korea during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February.
The menu features dishes symbolic of the two leaders' personal history, including rösti from Switzerland, where Kim went to school, and fish from Moon's hometown of Busan. The dessert will be adorned with a map of the Korean Peninsula in turquoise icing.
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