Historic inter-Korean summit ends as Kim, Moon agree to work for ‘complete denuclearisation’ of Korean Peninsula.
27 Apr 2018
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made history on Friday as he crossed into South Korea to hold talks with President Moon Jae-in.
It is the first time a North Korean leader has set foot in its southern neighbour since the end of the Korean War.
The two are holding talks in the demilitarised zone as part of the first inter-Korea summit in more than a decade. The meeting centred on the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and a permanent peace deal between the two countries.
Here are all the latest updates:
Kim Jong-un returns to North Korea
Kim Jong-un returns to North Korea, ending summit that saw him make history by setting foot on South Korean soil.
Moon and Kim conclude summit
Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in have concluded their summit with a farewell ceremony which included live music and a video projected onto the Peace House.
UK welcomes Korea summit, tells North to take concrete steps
British foreign minister Boris Johnson welcomed positive developments at an “historic” summit between the leaders the two Koreas on Friday, saying that North Korea must now honour its commitments and take concrete steps to denuclearise.
“I welcome the announcement that the two Koreas will work towards the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea, improve bilateral ties and reduce border tensions,” Johnson said in a statement.
He added: “This historic summit is not the end in itself… The UK will continue to work with our international partners to strictly enforce existing sanctions until such time that North Korea turns its commitments into concrete steps towards denuclearisation.”
Trump welcomes ‘historic meeting’
In a Tweet, US President Donald Trump has welcomed the meeting between Moon and Kim. “Good things are happening, but only time will tell!” he said.
Minutes later, he added “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!” in a separate tweet.
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!
Russia, Japan, China respond to inter-Korea summit
The Kremlin has hailed the meeting between Kim and Moon. “This is very positive news,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he expected North Korea to take concrete steps towards carrying out its promises. He added Japan was “absolutely not” being left out of the denuclearisation process and that he would stay in close contact with the US and South Korea.
China has welcomed the joint statement, saying they hope all parties can maintain the momentum for dialogue and can ointly promote the political resolution process for the Korean Peninsula issue. A statement by the Foreign Ministry added Beijing is willing to keep playing a pro-active role.
Kim says Koreas are ‘one nation’ in joint statement
“There is no reason why we should fight each other – we are one nation,” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in a joint statement with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in.
After delivering their statement, the leaders joined their wives Ri Sol-ju and Kim Jung-sook for a banquet.
Moon, Kim pledge to sign peace treaty this year
Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un signed a three-part declaration in the Peace House, pledging to sign a peace treaty to formally end the war between North and South Korea this year.
The declaration says the countries will work towards the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” but does not provide any specific measures.
By May 1, loudspeaker broadcasts and distribution of propaganda leaflets will be stopped, the declaration says.
North and South Korea will also pursue talks that will include the United States and potentially China.
The declaration states that the Koreas will work towards reunification and establish a communications post in Kaesong, North Korea. The countries will also organise a family reunion to be held on August 15.
Moon will visit North Korea in autumn.
Rallies in Paju
Anti-North Korea protests have been taking place in Paju, South Korea, with demonstrators demanding Moon cancels the summit.
There’s also been a rally in support of the summit with a large crowd watching the meeting unfold and waving flags with a map of a unified Korean Peninsula on it.
‘Peace and prosperity’ tree
Kim’s limousine, once again flanked by jogging bodyguards in suits, returned to a site close to the military demarcation line at 4:30pm (7:30 GMT).
He met Moon for a ceremony in which both leaders scooped soil from both from Mount Hallasan in South Korea and Mount Paektu in the North on a commemorative pine tree.
The pair unveiled a stone marker that reads “Planting peace and prosperity” as well as the leaders’ names and official titles.
Moon and Kim are slated to have a second session in which they will try and iron out a final declaration, to be announced later today before their joint banquet.
Reporting from Paju, South Korea, Al Jazeera’s James Bays said: “Particularly those in Washington, DC want to see that there’s real progress and a real willingness from the North Korean side to engage on all issues and of course the most important one for the US … is a North Korean willingness to give up their nuclear weapons and their long-range missiles.”
‘Serious, frank’ talks
Moon and Kim had “serious, frank” discussions on denuclearising the Korean Peninsula and attaining permanent peace, a South Korean official told reporters.
The official, Yoon Young-chan, said the leaders are writing a joint statement which will be announced when it is finished.
He added Kim’s wife Ri Sol-ju would join the leaders for dinner.
Seoul said Kim told Moon: “We won’t interrupt your sleep any more,” referring to missile tests.
First meeting ends
Moon and Kim concluded their first meeting at 12:00pm (3:00 GMT), with Kim returning to the North in a black limousine surrounded by jogging bodyguards to have lunch.
The leaders will return to the negotiating table in the afternoon after planting a memorial tree at the demarcation line. The tree will be planted with soil from both the North and the South, and watered with water from the North’s Taedong River and the South’s Han River.
Talks start in the Peace House
Moon and Kim started their first round of talks at 10:20am (1:20 GMT) in the Peace House. In a guest book entry, Kim wrote “A new history begins now”.
In his opening remarks, Kim said he hoped for talks that are “honest, frank and with intent”. “I hope that there is new history written with regards to peaceful prosperity and I will approach this with the feeling of a brand new start,” the North Korean leader said.
Moon noted there is “immense expectation” for the meeting. “Let’s approach this discussion boldly and wishing for peace. I would like to give something very big to the people watching us. We have all day to talk and let’s do so and make up for the 10 years that we have let pass,” he said.
In the first summit between the two countries since 2007, Kim crossed the military demarcation line at 9:30am (0:30 GMT) on Friday for a meeting in Panmunjom’s Peace House.
Moon briefly stepped into the North as well, in an unscripted moment and at the invitation of Kim.
It is only the third time leaders of the two Koreas have met since an armistice agreement ended the Korean War in 1953, and the first time a summit has taken place in the South.
The truce is still in force and Kim and Moon were expected to discuss a more permanent peace treaty on Friday.
In their first encounter, the leaders seemed relaxed and were smiling. But, said Al Jazeera’s James Bays, an historic handshake does not necessarily lead to peace: “We have not seen anything actually change in terms of any of the policies, in terms of the agreement … It doesn’t necessarily mean we have a breakthrough.”