Koreas Reach Agreement On Peace, Prosperity and Unity

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Below is the official declaration reached at the Inter-Korean summit yesterday. The agreement puts forth far-reaching goals on critical fronts. Below are key quotations from the text:

  • there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun
  • bring a swift end to the Cold War relic of longstanding division and confrontation, to boldly approach a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity
  • bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification led by Koreans
  • encourage more active cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts at all levels in order to rejuvenate the sense of national reconciliation and unity between South and North
  • alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula
  • transform the demilitarized zone into a peace zone
  • actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid Peace regime on the Korean peninsula
  • carry out disarmament in a phased manner, as military tension is alleviated
  • establish a permanent and solid Peace regime on the Korean peninsula

The document refers to the “Korean nation” when discussing the two Koreas. They describe their existence as it having “resulted from the division of the nation.” They see themselves as one nation divided by outside forces and repeatedly describe efforts to seek unity.

The agreement also makes it clear they will decide the future of the Korean Peninsula, e.g. they state “South and North Korea affirmed the principle of determining the destiny of the Korean nation on their own accord . . .”  Is that a diplomatic message to the superpowers on their borders, China and Russia as well as the United States that it will be Koreans who determine their own future? Korea has been a pawn in the conflicts between superpowers for much of its history since WW II. See articles below on the history of Korea.

When it comes to the military conflict, they agree to “cease all the hostile acts against each other in every domain including land, air, and sea, that are the sources of military tension and conflict.” How does this statement relate to the war games that South Korea and the United States engage in that practice nuclear and other attacks on the North? If South Korea ceases all hostile acts, those war games seem unable to continue. The United States could not continue practice attacks on North Korea without the participation of South Korea.

There is lots of promise in this agreement for a very different future for the Korean Peninsula. The upcoming meeting between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un will be the next step. Let’s hope it is a continuation of forward steps, not a step backward into threats. The peace movement in the US and around the world should encourage reaching a positive agreement as the Koreas have displayed in this meeting.

Banner on I 83 outside of Baltimore, MD urging US Out of Korea, a demand US activists should be making as Korea moves toward peace. By Baltimore PeaceAction.

Some reactions below:

For information on Korea see:
North Korea And US: Will Real Aggressor Please Stand Down?

The Long History Of US Abuses To Korea

Who Really Started The Korean War?

War And Peace In Korea And Vietnam – A Journey Of Peace

Link to our coverage of the Korean conflict

Photos of the Summit from The Korean Times

After Kim crossed into South Korea, he took the hand of Moon and invited him to cross into North Korea together with him.

Full Declaration of North and South Korean summit

The Panmunjeom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula

Official translation provided by the Inter-Korean summit
Source: The Korean Times

During this momentous period of historical transformation on the Korean Peninsula, reflecting the enduring aspiration of the Korean people for peace, prosperity and unification, President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea and chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea held an Inter-Korean Summit Meeting at the ‘Peace House’ at Panmunjom on April 27, 2018.

The two leaders solemnly declared before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.

The two leaders, sharing the firm commitment to bring a swift end to the Cold War relic of longstanding division and confrontation, to boldly approach a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity, and to improve and cultivate inter-Korean relations in a more active manner, declared at this historic site of Panmunjom as follows:

1. South and North Korea will reconnect the blood relations of the people and bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification led by Koreans by facilitating comprehensive and groundbreaking advancement in inter-Korean relations. Improving and cultivating inter-Korean relations is the prevalent desire of the whole nation and the urgent calling of the times that cannot be held back any further.

  1. South and North Korea affirmed the principle of determining the destiny of the Korean nation on their own accord and agreed to bring forth the watershed moment for the improvement of inter-Korean relations by fully implementing all existing agreements and declarations adopted between the two sides thus far.
  2. South and North Korea agreed to hold dialogue and negotiations in various fields including at high level, and to take active measure for the implementation of the agreements reached at the Summit.
  3. South and North Korea agreed to establish a joint liaison office with resident representative of both sides in the Gaeseong region in order to facilitate close consultation between the authorities as well as smooth exchanges and cooperation between the peoples.
  4. South and North Korea agreed to encourage more active cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts at all levels in order to rejuvenate the sense of national reconciliation and unity between South and North. The two sides will encourage the atmosphere of unity and cooperation by actively staging various joint events on the dates that hold special meaning for both South and North Korea, such as June 15th, in which participants from all levels, including central and local governments, parliaments, political parties, and civil organizations, will be involved. On the international front, the two sides agreed to demonstrate their collective wisdom, talents, and solidarity by jointly participating international sports events such as the 2018 Asian Games.
  5. South and North Korea agreed to endeavor to swiftly resolve the humanitarian issues that resulted from the division of the nation, and to convene the inter-Korean Red Cross Meeting to discuss and solve various issues including the reunion of separated families. In this vein, South and North Korea agreed to proceed with reunion program for the separated families on the occasion of the National Liberation Day of August 15 this year.
  6. South and North Korea agreed to actively implement the projects previously agreed in the 2007 October 4 Declaration, in order to promote balanced economic growth and co-prosperity of the nation. As a first step, the two sides agreed to adopt practical steps towards the connection and modernization of the railways and roads on the custom transportation corridor as well as between Seoul and Sinuiju for their utilization.

2. South and North Korea will make joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula.

  1. South and North Korea agreed to completely cease all the hostile acts against each other in every domain including land, air and sea, that are the sources of military tension and conflict. In this vein, the two sides agreed to transform the demilitarized zone into a peace zone in a genuine sense by ceasing as of May 1 this year all hostile acts and eliminating their means, including broadcasting through loudspeakers and distribution of leaflets, in the areas along the Military Demarcation Line.
  2. South and North Korea agreed to devise a practical scheme to turn the areas around the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea into a maritime peace zone in order to prevent accidental military clashes and guarantee safe fishing activities.
  3. South and North Korea agreed to take various military measures to ensure active mutual cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts. The two sides agreed to hold frequent meetings between military authorities, including the Defense Ministers Meeting, in order to immediately discuss and solve military issues that arise between them. In this regard, the two sides agreed to first convene military talks at the rank of general in May.

3. South and North Korea will actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid Peace regime on the Korean peninsula. Bringing an end to the current unactual state of armistice and establishing a robust peace regime on the Korean peninsula is a historical mission that must not be delayed any further.

  1. South and North Korea reaffirmed that non-aggression agreement that precludes the use of force in any form against each other, and agreed to strictly adhere to this Agreement.
  2. South and North Korea agreed to carry out disarmament in a phased manner, as military tension is alleviated and substantial progress is made in military confidence-building.
  3. During the year that marks the 65th anniversary of the Armistice, South and North Korea agreed to actively pursue trilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States, or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States and China with a view to declaring an end to the War and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime.
  4. South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, South and North Korea shared the view that the measures being initiated by North Korea are very meaningful and crucial for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and agreed to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities in this regard. South and North Korea agreed to actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders agreed, through regular meeting and direct telephone conversations, to hold frequent and candid discussion on issues vital to the nation, to strengthen mutual trust and to jointly endeavor to strengthen the positive momentum towards continuous advancement of inter-Korean relations as well as peace, prosperity and unification of the Korean Peninsula.

In this context, president Moon Jae-in agreed to visit Pyongyang this fall.
April 27, 2018
Done in Panmunjom
Moon Jae In
President
Kim Jong-un
Chairman
Republic of Korea State Affairs Commission
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

  • Lili-Ann Berg

    You can feel the “fire and fury” gathering momentum in that lunatic asylum on Capitol Hill, in the White House, among the war crazed generals in Pentagon and the billionaire profiteers on Wall Street. Peace in our time? Unthinkable.

  • Robert H. Stiver

    Wonderful! Great post! Go Korean Peninsula and all Koreans! Nobel Peace Prize for Moon and Kim! (As I wrote in a separate release and a la Lili-Ann’s comment: watch for false flags….)