04/28/2018, 11.24
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World powers watching Korea: applause and caution

China praises the "courage" of the two leaders and promises to continue to play a "positive role" for peace. Trump applauds summit with a tweet. The caution of Japan. Meanwhile, the two Koreas promise to start infrastructural projects that connect the peninsula.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The embrace between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un at the signing of the "Panmunjom Declaration" has sparked global applause, as well as appeals for caution, amid signs of hope and warnings of the past (and failed) statements. First among them the powers that revolve around the two Koreas: China, United States, Japan and Russia.

China - North Korea's only ally - praises the "courage" of the two Korean leaders: yesterday a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said that Beijing “hope and look forward to them taking this opportunity to further open a new journey of long-term stability on the peninsula." She also cited a poem that reads: "We remain brothers after all the vicissitudes; let's forgo our old grudges, smiling we meet again." Lu Kang, another spokesman, reiterated the country's commitment to playing a "positive role" for peace in Korea. China, together with the United States, is one of the two countries mentioned in the Panmunjom Declaration for future multilateral dialogues.

In the United States, American President Donald Trump commented with a tweet, stating that "good things are happening, but only time will tell!".

Japan  was also cautious. Premier Shinzo Abe said he would continue to "keep watch over" North Korea and push it towards concrete action. Abe also praised the South Korean president and his efforts that made the summit possible and added that he would call him to "hear" about the contents of the dialogue first hand.

Today, the Russian Foreign Ministry has called the declaration a positive development. There was also the reaction of the UN, released by the spokesperson of the secretary general Antonio Guterres, Stéphane Dujarric: the UN applauds the "truly historic summit" and encourages the two Koreas to give a concrete follow-up to the commitments made yesterday.

Meanwhile, further elements emerge from the agreement, in particular the intention of the two parties to build road and railway infrastructures that connect the two Koreas and renew existing ones: it is the first step to resume the projects that the two countries had established during the 2007 summit, as foreseen by yesterday's declaration. The Korean authorities will discuss which projects are feasible in the context of the still existing sanctions on Pyongyang. Yesterday evening, at the dinner offered by South Korea at the Peace House, Moon raised his glass of sparkling wine, toasting "a day when the two Koreas can freely cross (each other’s territory)!"

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