Pyongyang hails ‘historic’ meeting between North, South leaders

Pyongyang hails ‘historic’ meeting between North, South leaders
29 Apr

North Korea has hailed a “historic” summit between leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

“At the talks, both sides had a candid and open-hearted exchange of views on the matters of mutual concern, including the issues of improving the North-South relations, ensuring peace on the Korean Peninsula and the denuclearization of the peninsula,” said the North’s state-run agency the KCNA on Saturday.

The North Korean leader and South Korean president hold their historic summit in the Demilitarized Zone.

The report noted that during the meeting both leaders had vowed to work towards the total denuclearization of the peninsula.

“Kim Jong-un said that the meeting at such special place would mark an occasion of giving once again hope and dream for the future to all people,” it added.

It also stated that both leaders also vowed a “fresh start” in North-South relations.

“He said he felt once again the national mission and duty to usher in a new era of peace and reunification, after putting an end to the history of division and confrontation, and that he came today with the thought that he would fire a signal flare at the starting line writing a new history,”  it further noted.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in signed a joint declaration on Friday agreeing to work for the “complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” following their historic summit.

During their first summit in more than a decade, the two leaders stated that they would seek an agreement to establish “permanent” and “solid” peace on the Korean peninsula.

The landmark declaration also includes pledges to pursue military arms reduction, cease “hostile acts,” turn their fortified border into a “peace zone,” and seek multilateral talks with other nations, such as the US.

Kim is the first North Korean leader to set foot on South’s soil since the Korean War in early 1950’s.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un (L) shakes hands with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in (R) at the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries ahead of their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

China hailed the two Korean leaders for engaging in the landmark meeting, describing their handshake at their borderline as “historic moment.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also welcomed the historic summit, urging Pyongyang to take “concrete action” on the peninsula’s denuclearisation and other issues.

The Kremlin said the meeting of the two Korean leaders was a “very positive development.”

In Washington, the White House issued a statement expressing hope that the summit would “achieve progress toward a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean Peninsula.”

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The North Korean leader said last week that he was ready to suspend the country’s nuclear and missile tests and close a nuclear test site as North Korea has already achieved adequate progress in the nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea says it will suspend its nuclear and missile tests and shut down a nuclear test site on Saturday.

North Korea says its weapons are defensive in nature and a necessary deterrent against potential hostility by the United States and its regional allies, including South Korea.

The two Koreas began mending fences in January, when Kim said he would be interested in talks being held between officials from the two countries. A series of overtures ensued.

A possible meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump is also reportedly being planned for sometime in May or June.

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