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A day of smiles as Koreas aim for denuclearization (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II)

Kim Jong-un, Moon Jae-in promise an end to Korean war
The leaders of North and South Korea embraced after pledging to work for the “complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”, on a day of smiles and handshakes at the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade.

Earlier, Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader since the 1950-53 Korean War to set foot in South Korea, after shaking hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in over a concrete curb marking the border in the heavily fortified demilitarized zone.

To work with U.S., China
The two Koreas announced they would work with the U.S. and China this year to declare an official end to the 1950s Korean War and seek an agreement on “permanent” and “solid” peace.

The Panmunjom Declaration, named after the truce village that hosted the talks, included promises to pursue phased arms reduction, cease hostile acts, transform their fortified border into a peace zone and seek multilateral talks with other countries, including the U.S.

President Moon Jae-in agreed to visit the North Korean capital Pyongyang later this year, they said.

Difference from the past
Scenes of Mr. Moon and Mr. Kim joking and walking together marked a striking contrast to last year’s barrage of North Korean missile tests and its largest-ever nuclear test that led to sweeping international sanctions and fears of war. Their meeting comes weeks before Mr. Kim is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in what would be the first-ever meeting between sitting leaders of the two countries.

“After a furious year of missile launches and Nuclear testing, a historic meeting between North and South Korea is now taking place. Good things are happening, but only time will tell!” Mr. Trump said on Twitter. “KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!”

(Adapted from The Hindu)

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