Holding an historic summit on Friday at the heavily fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea, the leaders of the two nations agreed on a pledge to work for the ‘complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula’.
Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to cross the DMZ and step foot in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Meeting, the two stepped over both sides of the border and later planted a tree alongside a monument engraved with the words ‘planting peace and prosperity’.
Such scenes are completely new, and bring with them hopes that relations will improve between the two nations, and also between North Korea and the rest of the world.
‘We are at a starting line today, where a new history of peace, prosperity and inter-Korean relations is being written,’ Kim said as talks began.
Many, however, remain skeptical and point out that two earlier summits, first in 2000 and then in 2007, did not lead the North to halt weapons programmes.
This summit comes after North Korea announced it would bring an end to testing of missiles and shut down a nuclear test site.
The two leaders also agreed, among other things, to turn the armistice which ended the Korean War into a peace treaty this year and to turn the fortified DMZ into a ‘peace zone’.
US President Donald Trump is set to meet Kim Jong-un in a matter of weeks and denuclearisation is to be a key talking point again.
More to follow.