After historic summit, Koreas decide to denuclearize the peninsula
At a historic summit meeting on Friday, the heads of North and South Korea agreed to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and lead negotiations with the US to officially declare an end to the Korean War. Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in also vowed to turn the Korean War armistice into a peace treaty, a move marking the end of a shared bloodied past. Here's more.
The Koreas have set big, ambitious goals
According to the joint statement of both the nations, the leaders also agreed to: -End "hostile activities" between the two countries -Initiate three-way talks involving the US and China -Cease propaganda broadcasts to change the nation's dividing demilitarized zone (DMZ) into a "peace zone" -Modernizing and connecting roads/railways across the border -Joint participation in sport events, including in Asian Games 2018
No victory without pain, says Kim
However, there was no clear talk on how denuclearization would be achieved, making pundits skeptical about the (very) public show of enthusiasm for peace. Dismissing raised eyebrows, Kim, the first North Korean leader ever to visit the South, said both nations will ensure that their "unfortunate history" is never repeated. "There may be backlash, hardship and frustration" but "victory cannot be achieved without pain."
From hand holding to planting trees, they did it all
In a highly choreographed sequence of events, the two leaders first walked to Peace House, a military compound in Panmunjom, located between the countries. They both held hands as each stepped onto the other's land. They then together planted a pine tree using soil and water from both nations. Kim arrived for the Friday summit with nine officials, including his all-too-powerful sister Kim Yo-jong.
South to host a banquet in Kim's honor
The summit will be followed by a banquet hosted by the South. Along with the North's signature cold noodles and liquor, Kim will also be reportedly served the Swiss potato dish rösti, in remembrance of the time he spent studying in Switzerland.