Two Koreas sign agreement on denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula

Sep 19, 2018 15:49 IST
North, South Korea sign agreement on denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula

In a historic move, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on September 19, 2018 signed an agreement on denuclearisation, reducing military tensions and defusing crisis on the Korean peninsula.

The talks were hosted by North Korea in its capital city Pyongyang. The North Korean leader welcomed the South Korea President at the Sunan International Airport, at the start of Moon’s three-day visit to the nation.

Significance

It's the third meeting between Moon and Kim but the first to take place outside the ‘truce village’ of Panmunjom, on the border.

Previously, two different South Korean Presidents were hosted by Kim's father, the late Kim Jong II for summit sessions at the capital in 2000 and 2007.

The main agenda of the Moon-Kim meeting was to enhance ties between the two Koreas and push the talks on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. 

  Kim, Moon sign historic agreement on denuclearisation

Key Highlights of the Summit

North Korea has agreed to permanently dismantle engine testing facilities and missile launch pads in the presence of international inspectors.

The North Korean leader stated that his regime is also willing to take additional steps in accordance with the June 12 North Korea-US Joint Declaration, such as dismantle the country's largest nuclear facility in Yongbyon if the US takes corresponding measures.

The Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre is a major complex and its permanent closure would be a significant move towards ensuring that the North gives up its nuclear arsenal.

Besides this, Kim Jong Un pledged to visit Seoul, which would be the first visit by a North Korean leader to the South since the Korean War.

The leaders of the two militaries, South Korean defence Minister Song Young-moo and North Korea's Minister for the People's Armed Forces No Kwang-chol also signed a declaration, agreeing to a wide range of steps aimed at further reducing military tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Both the leaders want the US to sign off on formally ending the Korean War, which still technically continues because no peace treaty was signed.

North-South Joint Agreement

The joint agreement between the North and South Korea specified measures including a joint military committee, the halt of border drills and the withdrawal of 11 border guard posts by the end of the year, in order reduce the risk of military escalation.

  Kim, Moon sign historic agreement on denuclearisation

The agreement also outlined plans to reconnect a cross-border railway, to allow letter exchanges and video calls between citizens and to seek to file a joint bid to co-host the 2032 Olympics.

The remaining two days of the South Korean President in the North are expected to be largely focussed on cultural and symbolic activities designed to project an image of cross-border friendship. 

Accompanying Moon on the historic trip are leading industrialists from South Korea's business community including the CEO of Samsung.  The industry leaders were added to the trip to explore possible ventures across the border.

Background

The historic talks are taking place between the two Koreas as the US effort to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program lost its momentum, just a few months after US President Trump met with Kim in June for a summit in Singapore.

Though North Korea claimed to have shut down one of its nuclear test sites, reports emerged that North Korea was building new ballistic missiles at a factory just outside its capital.

Important Current Affairs of August 2018

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