After 65 years in a technical state of war, the Supreme leader Kim Jong-un of North Korea and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea pledged to end the Korean conflict.
A lot of firsts happened in the meeting between Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the historical meeting that took place on 27th of April this year at the South Korean side of the demilitarized zone in Panmunjom, the border between North and South Korea, one of the world’s most heavily fortified borders that served as a symbol of division of the Korean Peninsula into North and South. The first inter-Korean summit is their first time to meet face to face and Kim is the first North Korean leader to ever step inside the South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. When the President of the South Korea Moon Jae-in asked when he will be able to go to North Korea, the North Korea leader Kim Jong-un invited Moon to step across the demarcation line that divides their two countries. Both leaders stepped back into North Korea together, holding hands. The border area will become a “peace zone,” the leaders said.
“We hope we will not repeat our mistake of the past,” said Kim. “I hope this will be an opportunity for the two Korean peoples to move freely from North to South. We need to take responsibility for our own history.”
The peace treaty
Complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
“I came here to put an end to the history of confrontation,” Kim said. Both leaders agreed to finally sign peace treaty and rid the Korean peninsula nukes. South and North Korea agreed to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korea Peninsula. They would also within the year, pursue talks with the United States and China to declare an official end to the Korean War.
During the summit Trump shows support of Moon’s position as he tweeted, “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!” and came back with another tweet, “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!” Kim is due to meet the President of the United States around May or June but Trump said he would pull out the meeting if it would not be “fruitful.”
Two Koreas as One Nation
“There is no reason why we should fight each other – we are one nation,” Kim said in a joint statement with Moon. After signing the joint declaration, Kim said, “With one language, one culture and one history, North and South Korea will be joined as one nation.”
Both countries agreed and are also planning on organizing a family reunion, families that were separated by the 1950-1953 Korean War. The reunions of war-divided families will be held on August 15.
In the declaration it says that the two sides “agreed to proceed with reunion programs for the separated families on the occasion of the National Liberation Day of Aug. 15,” and “to swiftly resolve the humanitarian issues that resulted from the division of the nation.”
During or in the immediate aftermath of the Korean War, it was reported than more than 10 million Koreans are separated from their family living on the other side of the border. The reunions of the separated families were before held on and off last 2000 but didn’t take place ever since 2015. The issue has been considered as a pressing matter since a lot from the divided families strongly want and wishes to see their loved ones before they die. Over 131,000 of people registered the South Korean government to take part in the program but about 73,000 died without meeting their family in the North.
What Koreans Think
With the question “Do South Koreans trust and welcome North’s change in approach?” the highest percentage in the survey conducted was ‘welcome but not trust’ with 45.7% then followed by the ‘welcome and trust’ gaining 27.4%. While 18.4% on ‘don’t welcome and don’t trust’, 5% on ‘don’t welcome but trust’ and 3.5% on ‘don’t know’.
Here are some of the responses during the summit when a YouTubers ask what do they think about North and South Korea leaders vowing to end Korean War:
“Well I am so, so happy. It’s a really good thing for us, and I hope it all goes well. I think the people in our nation have wished for this event. I really hope [the talks] go well”
“It’s quite surprising for me because things are happening that I never thought possible. It makes me wonder if unification is really possible.”
“I was skeptical that there might be a hidden agenda. But I think it’s too early to tell”
“Before Kim can even set foot in South Korea, I think he should apologize first for all the bad things he’s done to South Korea. I think we are too forgiving in our approach, and that’s a problem. In the end, it’s good if something positive comes out of this summit, but we shouldn’t ignore the voices of those who are not happy about this.”
Do you think that reunification between the two countries is possible? What do you think are the effects of this unification?