A tentative hope was fostered after reading – on December 17th – about South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s meeting with China’s Xi Jinping. The trip — Mr Moon’s first state visit to Beijing — was used to mend bilateral ties, which disintegrated this year after China launched an economic boycott of South Korean companies and goods. In Beijing, Mr Moon urged Xi Jinping, China’s president, to step up efforts to solve the nuclear crisis with North Korea.
The earlier hope has been strengthened by the news in the Korea Times today
President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have now signed the “Panmunjeom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula,” in which they made it clear there would be no more war on the peninsula and that a new era of peace has begun.
President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have announced that South and North Korea will seek to hold tripartite talks with the United States, or talks including China, with the goal of declaring an end to the Korean War (1950-53) this year and establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, Friday.
Kim Jae-chun, a professor at Sogang university, said: “South Korea believes there is a role to be played by China . . . China could become an arbiter between the US and North Korea. The Moon government will be turning to China to say you guys have to calm things down with North Korea. But China will also ask South Korea to try convince the US to lower its rhetoric.”
Kim Rahn (Korea Times) reports that, in a joint declaration they announced after the summit at the truce village of Panmunjeom, the two leaders reaffirmed the joint goal of making the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free through complete denuclearization. To attain this goal and for further discussions on the North Korea nuclear issue, Moon will visit Pyongyang this autumn. Points made in the declaration were summarised:
(1) Two Koreas agree to declare the end of the Korean War that has been suspended since an armistice agreement in 1953.
(2) Two Koreas agree to set denuclearization as a common goal and work together to make the Korean Peninsula nuclear free.
(3) South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit Pyongyang in autumn.
(4) Two Koreas agree to stop a range of hostile acts on the ground, in the air and on the ocean.
(5) Starting May 1, the two Koreas will stop broadcasting propaganda on the inter-Korean border.
(6) Two Koreas will set up a jointly operated liaison office in Gaeseong, North Korea.
(7) On Aug 15, the two Koreas will host reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.
(8) Two Koreas agreed to reconnect an inter-Korean railroad on the East Coast.
(9) Two Koreas will jointly participate in the 2018 Asian Games.
Moon said, “North Korea’s pre-emptive nuclear freeze will be a valuable beginning for complete denuclearization of the peninsula.” Kim said, “I’m making efforts so that the agreement we made today will not turn out like before, but produce a good outcome . . . If the people of the two Koreas can pass on the road I passed today, if Panmunjeom becomes a symbol of peace, the people of the two Koreas will enjoy joint prosperity.”
Moon added: “Today I and Kim set a milestone, which will not be shaken, toward co-prosperity and unification”.