But their commitments were short on specifics and failed to clear up key questions about Pyongyang’s intentions ahead of an even more critical summit with U.S. President Donald Trump that is expected in coming weeks.
The declaration from the meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean President Kim Jong Un included promises to pursue phased arms reduction, cease hostile acts, transform their fortified border into a peace zone and seek multilateral talks with other countries including the United States.
“The two leaders declare before our people of 80 million and the entire world there will be no more war on the Korean peninsula and a new age of peace has begun,” the two sides said.
The summit was held at the village of Panmunjom in the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone at the border that has divided the Koreas for more than six decades.
But even as the Koreas agreed on a common goal of a “nuclear-free” peninsula, they stopped short of spelling out how that might come about.
The Trump administration defines “denuclearization” as Kim giving up his nuclear arsenal, something he has been unwilling to do. North Korea has historically demanded the United States withdraw its troops and remove its “nuclear umbrella” of support for the South.
Moon agreed to visit the North Korean capital of Pyongyang this year, the leaders said.
Below is an unofficial translation that shows the full text of the agreement they signed. We've annotated key phrases and segments for further information.
Panmunjeom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula
During this momentous period of historical transformation on the Korean Peninsula, reflecting the enduring aspiration of the Korean people for peace, prosperity and unification, President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea held an Inter-Korean Summit Meeting at the ‘Peace House’ at Panmunjeom on April 27, 2018.
The two leaders solemnly declared before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.
The two leaders, sharing the firm commitment to bring a swift end to the Cold War relic of longstanding division and confrontation, to boldly approach a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity, and to improve and cultivate inter-Korean relations in a more active manner, declared at this historic site of Panmunjeom as follows:
1) South and North Korea will reconnect the blood relations of the people and bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification led by Koreans by facilitating comprehensive and groundbreaking advancement in inter-Korean relations. Improving and cultivating inter-Korean relations is the prevalent desire of the whole nation and the urgent calling of the times that cannot be held back any further.
2) South and North Korea will make joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula. Alleviating the military tension and eliminating the danger of war is a highly significant challenge directly linked to the fate of the Korean people and also a vital task in guaranteeing their peaceful and stable lives.
3) South and North Korea will actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. Bringing an end to the current unnatural state of armisticeand establishing a robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula is a historical mission that must not be delayed any further.
The two leaders agreed, through regular meetings and direct telephone conversations, to hold frequent and candid discussions on issues vital to the nation, to strengthen mutual trust and to jointly endeavor to strengthen the positive momentum towards continuous advancement of inter-Korean relations as well as peace, prosperity and unification of the Korean Peninsula.
In this context, President Moon Jae-in agreed to visit Pyongyang this fall.
April 27, 2018
Done in Panmunjeom
President Republic of Korea
Kim Jong Un
State Affairs Commission
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
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