It is a new and hopeful day on the Korean peninsula. North Korea said it would close a key missile test facility in the presence of “international experts” and potentially destroy its primary nuclear complex. This depends on whether the United States agrees to corresponding measures, South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced in a joint press conference with Kim Jong Un on Wednesday.
This announcement came from the two leaders after a three-day summit, which is their third in this year.
The North and South Korean leaders, Kim and Moon, promised to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula.
“The world is going to see how this divided nation is going to bring about a new future on its own,” Kim said to applause from those gathered.
Both countries’ defense chiefs also signed a 17-page accord in which the two countries vowed to “cease all hostile acts against each other.”
“The era of no war has started,” said Moon, the first South Korean president to visit Pyongyang since 2007. “Today the North and South decided to remove all threats that can cause war from the entire Korean peninsula.”
The two countries also vowed to:
- Submit a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics.
- Create rail and road links between North and South within the next year.
- Stop military drills aimed at each other along the Military Demarcation Line, which divides the two countries, by November 1.
- Remove 11 guard posts in the demilitarized zone by the end of the year.
- Normalize the Kaesong Industrial complex and Kumgang tourism project as soon as the conditions allow.
This formal peace agreement now needs buy in from the US and China, the other participants in the conflict. A massive piece of any negotiation to end the war would be the status of the thousands of US troops stationed in South Korea as part of the two countries’ alliance. The North has long seen the US military’s large footprint in South Korea as a direct threat.