World Events

Historic Korean Summit

Advancing the hope of a united Korean Peninsula

In a historic display of unity, North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in joined hands and hearts, offering hope to 80 million Koreans by declaring their intent to officially end the Korean War, which began June 25, 1950.

On July 27, 1953, a ceasefire armistice agreement was signed, and a 2-mile wide demilitarized zone (DMZ) was created, separating the North from the South for the past 65 years.  But, the war never officially ended.

Technically, no official agreement was signed at the historic April 26, 2018 summit.  Intense negotiations are still necessary, but the initial reports indicate a final deal may include the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  You can read the full details of their intent, as translated by CNN here.  Below, are a few highlights.

South and North Korea will reconnect the blood relations of the people and bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification led by Koreans by facilitating comprehensive and groundbreaking advancement in inter-Korean relations…

South and North Korea agreed to encourage more active cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts at all levels in order to rejuvenate the sense of national reconciliation and unity between South and North. The two sides will encourage the atmosphere of unity and cooperation by actively staging various joint events on the dates that hold special meaning for both South and North Korea, such as June 15th…

South and North Korea will make joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula…

South and North Korea agreed to completely cease all the hostile acts against each other in every domain including land, air and sea, that are the sources of military tension and conflict. In this vein, the two sides agreed to transform the demilitarized zone into a peace zone in a genuine sense by ceasing as of May 1 this year all hostile acts and eliminating their means, including broadcasting through loudspeakers and distribution of leaflets, in the areas along the Military Demarcation Line…

South and North Korea will actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid Peace regime on the Korean peninsula…

South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, South and North Korea shared the view that the measures being initiated by North Korea are very meaningful and crucial for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and agreed to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities in this regard…

To finalize the negotiations and ratify an official peace agreement, the United States, China, and the United Nations will have to give their stamp of approval, especially since the United States and China were (1) on opposite sides of the original conflict and (2) negotiated the 1953 armistice agreement.  Their initial declaration seems to confirm this position.

During the year that marks the 65th anniversary of the Armistice, South and North Korea agreed to actively pursue trilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States, or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States and China with a view to declaring an end to the War and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime.

According to former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morrell, the Trump administration will, in fact, play a key role in final negotiations, but he warns there may be a grave misread of intent between North Korea and the United States.

Time will tell how the final steps unfold, but the initial summit offers great hope.

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