South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an official end to the Korean War and agreed to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in a historic summit meeting at the Joint Security Area of Panmunjom inside the heavily-fortified Demilitarized Zone that divides the two nations on Friday.
It was the first time a North Korean leader had ever set foot in South Korea, The New York Times said.
Please do not forget the great help that my good friend, President Xi of China, has given to the United States, particularly at the Border of North Korea. Without him it would have been a much longer, tougher, process!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2018
President Donald Trump, who is expected to meet with the North Korean leader in the coming weeks, acknowledged the talks between the two Koreas early Friday morning and erupted with excitement on Twitter after the two leaders had reached the agreement.
"After a furious year of missile launches and Nuclear testing, a historic meeting between North and South Korea is now taking place. Good things are happening, but only time will tell!" Trump tweeted as the meeting between the two leaders was underway.
A few minutes later, he noted about the war which ravaged the peninsula from 1950 to 1953: "KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!"
An unofficial translation of the declaration signed by the two leaders noted that they: "... 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."
They further noted a "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."
According to BBC, the summit was the third Inter-Korean summit between leaders of North and South Korea. It was the first one in more than a decade and also the first summit meeting for Kim.
Ahead of talks at the Peace House in Panmunjom Friday, Kim said he felt Moon had "fired a flare at the starting point ... the moment of writing a new history vis-à-vis peace, prosperity and North-South relations."
Here are five things the North and South Korea leaders agreed to on Friday.
1. To End the Korean War
"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," the agreement between the two leaders said.
They also agreed to "completely cease all hostile acts against each other in every domain, including land, air and sea, that are the source of military tension and conflict." They further agreed to transform the demilitarized zone into a peace zone by ceasing as of May 1 this year "all hostile acts and eliminating their means, including broadcasting through loudspeakers and distribution of leaflets, in the areas along the Military Demarcation Line."
2. Cooperate to Establish a Permanent and Solid Peace Regime
Noting that 2018 is the 65th anniversary of the Armistice, the North and South Korea leaders agreed to seek four-way talks involving the U.S. and China to establish a permanent and solid peace regime on the peninsula.
"South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. South and North Korea shared the view that the measures being initiated by North Korea are very meaningful and crucial for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and agreed to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities in this regard," the declaration said. "South and North Korea agreed to actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
3. Reunite Families
As part of their effort to improve relations between North and South Korea, the leaders agreed to "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."
"South and North Korea agreed to endeavor to swiftly resolve the humanitarian issues that resulted from the division of the nation, and to convene the Inter-Korean Red Cross Meeting to discuss and solve various issues including the reunion of separated families. In this vein, South and North Korea agreed to proceed with reunion programs for the separated families on the occasion of the National Liberation Day of August 15 this year," the declaration said.
4. Economic Cooperation
The two leaders agreed to implement economic cooperation projects that had been previously negotiated upon on Oct. 4, 2007, "to promote balanced economic growth and co-prosperity of the nation."
One of the first steps toward economic cooperation was to adopt practical steps toward the connection and modernization of the railways and roads on the eastern transportation corridor as well as between Seoul and Sinuiju for their utilization.
5. Unify Through Sports
North and South Korean athletes marched under one flag at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea. On Friday, leaders of the two Koreas agreed to demonstrate their collective wisdom, talents, and solidarity by jointly participating in international sports events such as the 2018 Asian Games.
It represents a push to "encourage more active cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts at all levels in order to rejuvenate the sense of national reconciliation and unity." They will also "encourage the atmosphere of amity and cooperation by actively staging various joint events on the dates that hold special meaning for both South and North Korea, such as June 15, in which participants from all levels, including central and local governments, parliaments, political parties, and civil organizations, will be involved."