The leaders of North and South Korea have agreed to work to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons, after holding a historic summit, just months after warlike rhetoric from North Korea.
The announcement, which made by the North’s Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in of South Korea after talks at the border, also agreed to push towards turning the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 into a peace treaty this year.
Speaking on Friday, Mr Kim hailed the progress he said had been made:
“We bade farewell to the frozen relationship between North and South Korea, which was a nightmare. And we announced the beginning of a warm spring to the world.”
This is not the first time such talks have occurred however. Similar pledges have been previously made but were later abandoned after the North resorted to nuclear and missile tests and the South elected more conservative presidents.
But Mr Kim said the two leaders had agreed to work to prevent a repeat of the region’s “unfortunate history” in which progress had “fizzled out”.
Details of how denuclearisation would be achieved have not made clear and many analysts remain sceptical about the North’s apparent enthusiasm for engagement.
Nevertheless there have been some points laid out as to what the objectives are:
- An end to “hostile activities” between the two nations
- Changing the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that divides the country into a “peace zone” by ceasing propaganda broadcasts
- An arms reduction in the region pending the easing of military tension
- To push for four-way talks involving the US and China
- Organising a reunion of families left divided by the war
- Connecting and modernising railways and roads across the border
- Further joint participation in sporting events, including this year’s Asian Games
US President Donald Trump also welcomed the news, tweeting that “good things are happening”.
Mr Kim is due to meet Mr Trump in the coming weeks.