North And South Korea Agree To Put An Official End To The Seven Decade Long War
After seven decades of hostility, the leaders of North and South Korea agreed to officially put an end to the 1950s Korean War. They jointly announced that they would work with the United States and China to declare an official end to the war and establish “permanent” and “solid” peace in the area.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean President Kim Jong Un signed the “Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula” at the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
Apart from the announcement to end the Korean war, the declaration also included phased military arms reduction, stopping the hostile acts and converting the fortified border to a peace zone.
Fighting in the Korean War ended in 1953 in a stalemate, after which an armistice agreement was signed. But a peace treaty never followed, and the two sides were still technically at war.
Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader since 1950-53 Korean war to visit South Korea. Leaders from the two Korean nations shook hands over the concrete border in the DMZ between the two countries.
As opposed to the last year’s North Korean missile tests that unleashed fears of a fresh conflict on the Korean peninsula, this meeting saw the two leaders walking together.
As per the declaration, Moon has also agreed to visit Pyongyang later this year.
The two leaders have promised to put efforts to reduce tensions between the two countries by opening a liaison office, stopping propaganda broadcasts and leaflet drops along the border and allowing the Korean families divided by the border to meet.
Before the summit, President Kim had announced that North Korea would suspend nuclear tests and also dismantle its only known nuclear site
The two Koreans in past too had spoken of peace between the two countries in two separate summits, one in 2000 and other in 2007, however, both of these summits failed to improve relations in a long-lasting way.
Acknowledging the failure of the previous two summits, Kim said, “We will make efforts to create good results by communicating closely, in order to make sure our agreement signed today before the entire world, will not end as just a beginning like previous agreements before today.”
The two countries went to war in 1950 when soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army invaded South Korea. The war began on June 25, 1950, with series of clashes across the border. The United Nations with the United State as the principal force came to the aid of South Korea and countries like China and the Soviet Union lent assistance to the North. The war was fought until July 27, 1953, however, no formal peace treaty was signed.