Koreas make nuclear pledge after summit

The leaders of North and South Korea have agreed to work to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons, after holding a historic summit.

The announcement was made by the North’s Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in of South Korea after talks at the border.

The two also agreed to push towards turning the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 into a peace treaty this year.

The summit came just months after warlike rhetoric from North Korea.

Speaking at a banquet after Friday’s talks, Mr Kim hailed the progress he said had been made.

“We bade farewell to the frozen relationship between North and South Korea, which was a nightmare. And we announced the beginning of a warm spring to the world,” he said.

What is in the agreement?

Details of how denuclearisation would be achieved were not made clear and many analysts remain sceptical about the North’s apparent enthusiasm for engagement.

An issue for the North is the security guarantee extended by the US, a nuclear power, to South Korea and Japan and its military presence in both countries.

Previous inter-Korean agreements have included similar pledges but were later abandoned after the North resorted to nuclear and missile tests and the South elected more conservative presidents.

Mr Kim said the two leaders had agreed to work to prevent a repeat of the region’s “unfortunate history” in which progress had “fizzled out”.

“There may be backlash, hardship and frustration,” he said, adding: “A victory cannot be achieved without pain.”

Other points the leaders agreed on in a joint statement were:

  • An end to “hostile activities” between the two nations
  • Changing the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that divides the country into a “peace zone” by ceasing propaganda broadcasts
  • An arms reduction in the region pending the easing of military tension
  • To push for four-way talks involving the US and China
  • Organising a reunion of families left divided by the war
  • Connecting and modernising railways and roads across the border
  • Further joint participation in sporting events, including this year’s Asian Games

The commitment to denuclearisation does not explicitly refer to North Korea halting its nuclear activities but rather the aim of “a nuclear-free Korean peninsula”.

The two countries have also agreed to seek international support to reach this goal, the joint statement says.

 

Source: BBC

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