History has been made on the Korean Peninsula today, as South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shook hands at the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries and pledged to work to denuclearize the peninsula and to declare the official end to the Korean War. Today’s historic summit marks the first time a North Korean leader has ever set foot inside South Korea. During the meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said, “I came here to put an end to the history of confrontation.” The North and South Korean leaders pledged to pursue talks with the United States aimed at negotiating a formal peace treaty to replace the uneasy 1953 armistice. This is North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaking today.
Kim Jong-un: “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.”
Today’s breakthrough comes amid a series of diplomatic developments regarding North Korea and its nuclear program. Last month, Kim Jong-un traveled to Beijing by armored train to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Kim’s first foreign trip since taking office in 2011.
Kim is also slated to meet soon with President Trump, in what would be the first-ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. Last week, North Korea announced it would stop testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and would close a site where at least six prior nuclear tests were held. This is South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaking today.
President Moon Jae-in: “It is very significant that North Korea took a measure of freezing nuclear first. It will be a valuable beginning for the complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. I clearly declare that the South and North will closely cooperate for the complete denuclearization.”
This morning, President Trump tweeted ”KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!” We’ll have more on the historic news from the Korean Peninsula after headlines.