North and South Korea, after their historic summit, have on Friday agreed to rid their peninsula of nuclear weapons. However, the countries have not yet provided any new specific measures on how they plan to achieve this.
A joint statement issued after talks between North Korean premier Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in on Friday said the two nations confirmed their goal of achieving "a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearisation." CNN quoted Kim as saying that the two Koreas "will be reunited as one nation."
The two leaders embraced each other after the conventional handshake for the world media and vowed to seek peace and an end to the Korean War.
"South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realising, through complete denuclearisation, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula," they said in a joint statement.
North Korea has placed its nukes up for negotiations. It has previously used the term "denuclearisation" to say it can disarm only when the United States withdraws its 28,500 troops in South Korea.
Meanwhile, the two countries also announced that they will hold a reunion of divided families on the peninsula. They agreed to open a permanent communication office in the North Korean town of Kaesong and resume temporary reunions between relatives separated by the 1950-53 Korean War following a historic summit between their leaders.
The family reunions are expected to take place around Aug. 15, an anniversary for both Koreas celebrating their peninsula's liberation from Japanese colonial rule after the end of World War II.
Moon Jae-in announced that he will visit Pyongyang later this year on Kim's invitation. The two Koreas plan to hold high-level talks and other negotiations to fulfill the agreements made at the summit.
The statement, however, didn't say what other specific disarmament steps North Korea would take. According to CNN, Kim didn't appear to have mentioned denuclearisation in his speech. "When asked about the fact that Kim didn't mention the phrase, a spokesman for the Moon's administration said 'the agreement is a binding document. His speech is not'," CNN reported.
Kim, however, laid stress on improving people-to-people ties amid the two nations.
There is widespread scepticism about whether Kim is ready to abandon the nuclear arsenal his country has defended and developed for decades as what it says is a necessary deterrent against U.S. invasion.Two earlier summits between the leaders of North and South Korea, in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007, failed to halt the North’s weapons programs or improve relations in a lasting way.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Apr 27, 2018 15:28:09 IST