04/27/2018, 13.26
KOREA
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Inter–Korean Summit: 'A new age of peace has opened’

A "Panmunjom declaration" is signed: achieving peace and denuclearization. A new meeting of separated families on August 15th. Moon will go to Pyongyang next Autumn.

Panmunjom (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "The two leaders solemnly declared before the 80 million people of our nation and the entire world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and a new age of peace has opened". This is what is stated in the declaration signed today by Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, during the first inter-Korean summit after more than a decade. The joint objective is clear: to transform the armistice into a peace treaty by the end of the year.

At the end of the afternoon talks, the two leaders signed the "Panmunjom declaration". According to it, the two Koreas are committed to resuming multilateral dialogue with China and the United States, to cooperate to denuclearize the peninsula and to ease military tensions.

To this end the two countries will end all "hostile acts", a "zone of peace" will be established in the West Sea, a joint communications office in the city on the border of Kaesong and the opening to dialogue with the Red Cross to resolve "humanitarian problems".

The statement also announces a visit by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang, scheduled for next autumn, and the resumption of the meetings of families separated by the War of 1950-53, probably on August 15th, the day of Korea's independence from Japanese occupation (1910-1945).

The commitments were announced in front of TV cameras, after the symbolic planting of a pine, symbol of peace and prosperity. The tree was planted near the demarcation line separating the two Koreas on the south side (see photo 2). Soon after, Moon and Kim held a private dialogue - away from the cameras - on the blue pedestrian bridge (see photo 3).

Meanwhile, Kim's wife, Ri Sol-ju, also crossed the border between the two Koreas, to join her husband at a dinner offered by Moon. Her new role as "first lady", after years away from the public scene, is seen by analysts as a further attempt by the North Korean leader to "normalize" the image of his country.

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