Korean Summit: Shared Goodwill

Angel Guerra CabreraRelated image

Working for the total denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, reducing its arsenals, signing a peace agreement and seeking a future of prosperity and reunification were the central agreements of the memorable summit between the two Koreas, held on April 27 . The results of the meeting between its leaders Kim yon-un, from the north, and Moon Jae-in, from the south, are hopeful. More so if we consider the opinion of notable experts: that the escalation of tension last year was about to transform the conflict into a nuclear war. There are obvious tragic consequences that an outcome of that nature could have brought, at least to the Korean people and a large part of humanity that lives in that region of the world.

The third inter-Korean summit and the first in eleven years had among its first fruits the visit for the first time to South Korea, of a leader from the north, since it took place on the South Korean side of the Joint Security Area.

Both Koreas have shown a firm will for peace and understanding that made possible the meticulous preparation of this meeting in a little over one hundred days since January 10, when a meeting took place at the ministerial level between the two parties and the possibility of this appointment was announced. In between, North Korea participated in the Pyoeonchang Winter Olympic Games, South Korea, where the delegations of the two countries paraded under the same flag for the first time in twelve years. The head of the North representation of its honorary president Kim Yong-nam and of Kim Yo-jong, sister of Kim Yon-un and head of the propaganda department of the Labor Party of Korea were present. Kim awoke sympathy among his southern compatriots and a week ago, along with Yong-nam, accompanied his brother in talks with South Korean President Moon.

In addition to the above, the joint declaration (below) of the summit also includes ceasing any hostile action between them, avoiding confrontations in the Yellow Sea, taking active measures to cooperate with the international community, holding high-level military talks in May, resuming meetings of families separated by the 1950-53 war.

For both Moon and Kim, the achievement of this event constitutes a resounding victory. The former based his electoral campaign on the promise of achieving a relaxation of tension and a climate of peace in the peninsula, a goal in which he has demonstrated an unquestionable capacity for leadership. For his part, the North Korean leader has exhibited audacity, flexibility and equal leadership in the preparation and development of this meeting. All of which will help to dispel the irresponsible and warlike image that the corporate media have forged. Moreover, if the unprecedented process of relaunching the cooperation between the two parties would be stable and lasting, they would be laying the groundwork for the gradual loosening of sanctions by the south and, eventually, for the modernization of the northern economy. We must note much of the merit for the completion of this summit to the two Koreas, with clear support from China and Russia. In this sense, the previous visit of Kim to China was very important, which meant a recomposition of the relations between both governments, undermined by mutual distrust in the last two years, and particularly, those of the North Korean leader with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jingping .

The summit has markedly slowed the serious deterioration already referred to the conflict, largely caused by Washington’s continued hostility to Pyongyang, aggravated by the arrival of Trump to the presidency. Although it would later give a sharp turn and announce his intention to meet with Kim. As usual, Trump attributed the success of the inter-Korean meeting to his hard line. The meeting of the US and Nordorean leaders will give an idea of ​​how soon a denuclearization agreement can be advanced and the signing of a peace treaty between the two Koreas, impossible to achieve without US consent. The dismal presence of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo in the foreign policy of the United States does not bode well. The first, for what is stated, understands the denuclearization of the North as a surrender, which Pyonyang would not accept.

Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula

During this momentous period of historical transformation on the Korean Peninsula, reflecting the enduring aspiration of the Korean people for peace, prosperity and unification, President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea and chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea held an Inter-Korean Summit Meeting at the ‘Peace House’ at Panmunjom on April 27, 2018.

The two leaders 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.

The two leaders, sharing the firm 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, declared at this historic site of Panmunjom as follows:

1. South and North Korea will 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. Improving and cultivating inter-Korean relations is the prevalent desire of the whole nation and the urgent calling of the times that cannot be held back any further.

  1. South and North Korea affirmed the principle of determining the destiny of the Korean nation on their own accord and agreed to bring forth the watershed moment for the improvement of inter-Korean relations by fully implementing all existing agreements and declarations adopted between the two sides thus far.
  2. South and North Korea agreed to hold dialogue and negotiations in various fields including at high level, and to take active measure for the implementation of the agreements reached at the Summit.
  3. South and North Korea agreed to establish a joint liaison office with resident representative of both sides in the Gaeseong region in order to facilitate close consultation between the authorities as well as smooth exchanges and cooperation between the peoples.
  4. South and North Korea agreed to encourage more active cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts at all levels in order to rejuvenate the sense of national reconciliation and unity between South and North. The two sides will encourage the atmosphere of unity and cooperation by actively staging various joint events on the dates that hold special meaning for both South and North Korea, such as June 15th, in which participants from all levels, including central and local governments, parliaments, political parties, and civil organizations, will be involved. On the international front, the two sides agreed to demonstrate their collective wisdom, talents, and solidarity by jointly participating international sports events such as the 2018 Asian Games.
  5. 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 program for the separated families on the occasion of the National Liberation Day of August 15 this year.
  6. South and North Korea agreed to actively implement the projects previously agreed in the 2007 October 4 Declaration, in order to promote balanced economic growth and co-prosperity of the nation. As a first step, the two sides agreed to adopt practical steps towards the connection and modernization of the railways and roads on the custom transportation corridor as well as between Seoul and Sinuiju for their utilization.

2. 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.

  1. South and North Korea agreed to completely cease all the hostile acts against each other in every domain including land, air and sea, that are the sources of military tension and conflict. In this vein, the two sides agreed to transform the demilitarized zone into a peace zone in a genuine sense 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. South and North Korea agreed to devise a practical scheme to turn the areas around the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea into a maritime peace zone in order to prevent accidental military clashes and guarantee safe fishing activities.
  3. South and North Korea agreed to take various military measures to ensure active mutual cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts. The two sides agreed to hold frequent meetings between military authorities, including the Defense Ministers Meeting, in order to immediately discuss and solve military issues that arise between them. In this regard, the two sides agreed to first convene military talks at the rank of general in May.

3. South and North Korea will actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid Peace regime on the Korean peninsula. Bringing an end to the current unactual state of armistice and establishing a robust peace regime on the Korean peninsula is a historical mission that must not be delayed any further.

  1. South and North Korea reaffirmed that non-aggression agreement that precludes the use of force in any form against each other, and agreed to strictly adhere to this Agreement.
  2. South and North Korea agreed to carry out disarmament in a phased manner, as military tension is alleviated and substantial progress is made in military confidence-building.
  3. During the year that marks the 65th anniversary of the Armistice, South and North Korea agreed to actively pursue trilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States, or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States and China with a view to declaring an end to the War and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime.
  4. 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. South and North Korea agreed to actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders agreed, through regular meeting and direct telephone conversations, to hold frequent and candid discussion on issues vital to the nation, to strengthen mutual trust and to jointly endeavor to strengthen the positive momentum towards continuous advancement of inter-Korean relations as well as peace, prosperity and unification of the Korean Peninsula.

In this context, president Moon Jae-in agreed to visit Pyongyang this fall.

April 27, 2018
Done in Panmunjom

Moon Jae In
Kim Jong-un
Republic of Korea State Affairs Commission
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea