10/04/2007, 00.00
KOREA
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Historic accord between leaders: peace and trade

Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong-il have signed an accord which in ten separate points sets out the creation of a new peace zone and officially declares an end to the 1950 war. Pyongyang also accepts the closure of its nuclear reactors, in exchange for humanitarian aid and fuel.

Pyongyang (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A “special peace zone” along Korea’s western coast, but also the official end of the 1950 civil war – but not a peace treaty – and a new bi-lateral trade deal.  This is the main content of the joint declaration signed yesterday by South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, and the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.

 

According to some analysts, the document (which will be released later this evening due to technical problems) aims “to show North Korean goodwill, even though it makes no new concessions: an armistice was already in act between the two countries, and the peace zone is a copy of the Kaesong industrial complex, where they already work together”.

 

Moreover, adds an editorial of the Seoul daily Chosun Ilbo, “the details container in the text will be very important: even after the visit of President Kim Dae-jung, in 2000, we had the feeling that history was being made, but in reality very little changed.  Now we can only wait watch and hope”.

 

Meanwhile, Pyongyang has accepted the requests put forward by nations from the six party talks to denuclearize the peninsula and has said i twill close down all of its reactors by the end of the year.  In exchange, it has received a large increase in economic and humanitarian aid, which will help the country re-establish itself in the aftermath of recent devastating floods.

 

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