North Korean Media Hail Historic Meeting
Friday’s summit between the leaders of North and South Korea was a “historic meeting” paving the way for the start of a new era, North Korea’s media say.
The North’s Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in of South Korea agreed to work to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons, BBC reported.
In a rare move, state-run TV and the official KCNA news agency hailed the talks and the leaders’ commitment to seek “complete denuclearization”. The summit came just months after warlike rhetoric from the North.
It saw Kim become the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. The two men warmly shook hands and then stepped symbolically over the military demarcation line to the North Korean side.
For years, Pyongyang has insisted that it would never give up its nuclear arsenal, which it claims it needs to defend itself against aggression from the US.
Seeing even a small mention of denuclearization in a public newspaper will be perceived as a breakthrough by South Korean officials, says the BBC’s Laura Bicker in Seoul.
The two leaders said they would pursue talks with the US and China to formally end the Korean War, which ended in 1953 with a truce, not total peace.
The commitment to denuclearization does not explicitly refer to North Korea halting its nuclear activities but rather to the aim of “a nuclear-free Korean peninsula”.
The statement talks about this taking place in a phased manner, but does not include further details.
Many analysts remain skeptical about the North’s apparent enthusiasm for engagement.
Previous inter-Korean agreements have been abandoned after the North resorted to nuclear and missile tests and the South elected more conservative presidents.
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”.
SOURCE : FINANCIAL TRIBUNE