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North and South Korea Announce Historic Agreement After Meeting

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The leaders of North Korea and South Korea promised to end hostilities between the two countries as a step toward removing all nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula, NBC reported.

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday vowed to “cease all hostile acts” and to “transform the Demilitarized Zone into a peace zone.” The two nations remain in a technical state of war, because the Korean War’s fighting ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

In a ceremonial book for the event, Kim wrote, “A new history begins now.”

“We have a chance to heal the wounds,” Kim said.

The day’s words were a far cry from the bellicose rhetoric Kim has used in the past while threatening to destroy South Korea as well as the United States.

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President Donald Trump tweeted his reactions to the meeting early Friday morning. He is expected to meet with Kim later this year.

During a 30-minute private walk, Kim made what Moon’s spokesman, Yoon Young Chan, described as a joke.

“I was told that you used to be unable to get a good night’s sleep, being awakened … to attend the National Security Council meetings because of us,” Kim said. “I’ll make sure that you can sleep soundly.”

Do you believe North Korea really wants peace?

Kim said he wants to make “the most of this opportunity so that we have the chance to heal the wounds between the North and the South. Let’s meet more often from now on.”

Kim also told Moon, “I came here to put an end to the history of confrontation as well as to work shoulder to shoulder with you to tackle the obstacles between us. I came to with the confidence that a brighter future awaits us,” Yoon told reporters.

An agreement the two leaders announced would create a “joint liaison office” and allow families separated by the decades-old war between the two countries to hold reunions on August 15, CNN reported.

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The day began with highly symbolic actions from the two leaders, The New York Times reported.

Kim met Moon at a concrete slab that marks the border between the two Koreas. With each leader standing on his own side, they shook hands. Kim then stepped across the border into South Korea. After a round of photos, Moon stepped into North Korean territory before the two leaders went back into South Korea for talks.

The meeting brought reactions of both hope and skepticism.

“I don’t think people should get carried away by the extraordinary scenes that we’re seeing — there’s still an enormous amount to be worked out before these good intentions turn into practical steps, ” Mike Chinoy, a senior fellow at the University of California’s US-China Institute and former CNN Beijing bureau chief told CNN.

“But it is unquestionably a turning point, and now the challenge is going to be for President Trump and Kim Jong-Un to try and build on that. I think one big question on that score is how far Kim Jong-Un is prepared to go in practical terms on the nuclear issue and on that we simply don’t know.”

Vipin Narang, a professor of political science at MIT, gave a word of caution.

“Until there is evidence of an agreed upon definition and concrete steps of what ‘denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,’ there is a lot of wiggle room — both for a potential meaningful bargain short of disarmament, but also for conflict if the North Korean definition does not come close to resembling the U.S.,” he said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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