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North and South Korea agree to ‘complete denuclearization’ in historic leaders’ meeting

The leaders of North and South Korea issued a joint declaration on Friday, April 27 affirming their commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and an end to a decades-long war between the two countries.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un joined South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a historic summit at the demarcation line marking the boundary between the divided peninsula. It was the first trip by a North Korean leader to South Korea.

The “Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean peninsula” was issued after a 30-minute private meeting between the two leaders and a day of meetings between the two sides.

In the joint statement, Moon and Kim declared that “a new era of peace had arrived,” nearly 68 years after the Korean War began.

“South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula,” the statement said.

“The two leaders solemnly declared before 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.”

They further “agreed to completely cease all hostile acts against each other in every domain, including land, air and sea, that are the source of military tension and conflict.”

The demilitarized zone where Moon and Kim met on Friday is set to be transformed “into a peace zone in the genuine sense by ceasing as of May 1 this year all hostile acts and eliminating their means, including broadcasting through loudspeakers and distribution of leaflets, in the areas along the Military Demarcation Line.”

They will further turn the area around the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea into a “maritime peace zone” to prevent accidental military clashes and ensure safe commercial fishing, the statement said.

They agreed to proceed with reunification programs for families – who have been separated since the 1950s –beginning on August 15. Moon is set to visit Pyongyang later this year, according to the statement.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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