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North and South Korea Sign Denuclearization Agreement in Historic Meeting

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-In are working to end conflicts between them.

Brooklyn Riepma

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Today marked the first ever time a North Korean leader ever visited South Korea.

On Friday morning, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un made history when he went to South Korea for talks with Moon Jae-in, president of South Korea. This meeting meant crossing over a border that has kept North and South Korea divided for 65 years. The two shook hands and even hugged.

Throughout their day of discussion, they signed a joint statement saying they will work toward a goal to denuclearize their peninsula, and Kim claims he plans to quit his nuclear program. The three-page statement, the “Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity, and Unification on the Korean Peninsula,” hopes to end the ongoing conflicts between North and South Korea and bring an official end to the Korean War.

The Panmunjom Declaration was named after the “truce village” located on the dividing border. The meeting took place at the Peace House, which is a building on the South’s side of Panmunjom. In the document, both countries agreed “to actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community.” Kim and Moon also agreed to open a liaison office in Kaesong, a North Korean border town.

“When you crossed the military border for the first time, Panmunjom became a symbol of peace, not a symbol of division,” Moon told Kim.

Trump tweeted early Friday that “Good things are happening, but only time will tell!”

However, the agreement called for a “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula,” which could cause more tension between North Korea and the US, since this phrase might mean South Korea won’t have nuclear weapons, either. Trump has long been pushing tight sanctions on the North for fear of an attack against the US or allies.

“We will work to make sure that the agreement bears good results by closely communicating to ensure that the failure to implement North-South agreements in the past will not be repeated,” Kim said to the press after signing the agreement.

“The road I have used today, I sincerely hope every South and North Korean citizen can use this road,” Kim said earlier today. “We will be able to enjoy peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula without having to fear the war.”

As for next steps in improving North and South relations, Moon says he may visit Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital city, in the fall.

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Brooklyn Riepma is a Boise-based journalist and student. She is a junior at The College of Idaho majoring in Political Economy with minors in Creative writing, Natural Sciences, and Journalism.

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