According to ABC NEWS journalists Hakyung Kate Lee and Joohee Cho, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have agreed to end the war between the two Koreas and create a, “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.” The agreement commenced this past Friday, April 27, in Panmunjom during what the New York Times dubbed a “historic meeting between the two Korean leaders.”
CNN journalist James Griffiths wrote the two countries have decided to put away their hostilities and sign the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula. The day’s events also marked the first time, “a North Korean leader has ever set foot in the South,” occurring when Kim Jon Un physically crossed South Korea’s border, according to New York Times journalist Chloe Sang-Hun. Videos posted on CNN’s website show that during the summit, Kim Jong Un also invited South Korea’s president to step into the northern side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ.) In this demilitarized zone, the two leaders planted a tree together, shoveling dirt onto the plant’s mound to symbolize unity.
Videos of Kim Jong Un signing into Peace House’s guestbook are circulating online. He penned, “a new history begins now,” and called the summit the beginning of “an age of peace, at the starting point of history.” After the summit, the two leaders announced their intention to seek the formal end of the Korean War. Kim Jong Un was recorded while he made a public address saying, “Why did it take so long? Why was it so difficult to get here?” referring to the newly proposed peace.
BBC wrote that, “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,” making the recent statements aimed at peace a shock to Korean residents and people all around the world. However, if readers recall, tensions began to noticeably thaw between the two Koreas during this past Winter Olympics when the two countries competed under a unified flag.
Even though fighting officially ended in 1953, North Korea and South Korea have experienced conflict over the past 65 years. The New York Times published an informative video on April 27, 2018 stating the Korean War has never ended, despite the cease fire issued in 1953. Between 1950 and 1953 about four million people perished during the Korean War. Even though the physical fighting came to an end in 1953, South Korea’s president at the time, Syngman Rhee, desired to reunite South Korea and punish North Korea, therefore never permitting South Korea to sign the truce. This obstructed the goals of the peace conference, which occurred one year later.
Now, 65 years after, talk occurred to formally end the war for the Korean Peninsula. Both Korean leaders ended the summit by cracking open a chocolate shell, and revealing a cake underneath with a decorative, unified Korean Peninsula on top.
Doménica Castro is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in Spanish. ✉DC874612@wcupa.edu