North, South Korea Agree to Goal of 'Complete Denuclearisation' of Korean Peninsula
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in cross the border line at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone on April 27, 2018. (Image: AP)
Seoul: The leaders of North and South Korea signed a declaration on Friday agreeing to work for the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".
At their first summit in more than a decade, the two sides announced they would seek an agreement to establish "permanent" and "solid" peace on the peninsula.
The declaration included promises to pursue military arms reduction, cease "hostile acts," turn their fortified border into a "peace zone," and seek multilateral talks with other countries, such as the United States.
Earlier, scenes of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in joking and walking together marked a striking contrast to last year's barrage of North Korean missile tests and its largest ever nuclear test that led to sweeping international sanctions and fears of a fresh conflict on the Korean peninsula.
The dramatic meeting, aimed at ending their decades-long conflict, comes weeks before Kim is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump. "We are at a starting line today, where a new history of peace, prosperity and inter-Korean relations is being written," Kim said before the two Korean leaders and their top aides began talks.
Just days before the summit, Kim said North Korea would suspend nuclear and long-range missile tests and dismantle its only known nuclear test site.
But there is widespread scepticism about whether Kim is ready to abandon the hard-earned nuclear arsenal his country has defended and developed for decades as what it says is a necessary deterrent against U.S. invasion.
Two earlier summits between the leaders of North and South Korea, in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007, failed to halt the North's weapons programmes or improve relations in a lasting way.
"Today, rather than create results we won't be able to carry out like in the past, we should make good results by talking frankly about current issues, issues of interest," Kim said