North Korean media hail `historic` summit
Published: 06:59 PM, 28 April 2018
North Korea`s media says that 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
The North`s Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in of South Korea agreed to work to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons.
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 Mr 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.
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 sceptical 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.
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`.
Other points the leaders agreed on in a joint statement were:
- 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
Mr Kim`s bold decision to stride confidently into nominally hostile territory reflects the young dictator`s confidence and acute sense of political theatre and expertly executed timing.
It also, by blurring the boundary between the two countries, hinted at the goal of unification that both Seoul and Pyongyang have long sought to realize.
The rest of the day was full of visual firsts and a set of cleverly choreographed images of the two leaders chatting informally and intimately in the open air, deliberately advancing a powerful new narrative of the two Koreas as agents of their own destiny.
Source: BBC News
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