Surreal scenes capped off the historic meeting between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in today as they held hands and listened to Korean pop music during a lavish farewell ceremony.
Kim became the first North Korean leader to step into the South for 65 years as he and President Moon vowed ‘there will be no more war’ and agreed to ‘complete denuclearisation’.
The two sworn enemies exchanged a warm greeting at the 38th parallel in the truce village of Panmunjom before the pair held talks and planted a commemorative tree together. The dramatic meeting has been seen as a precursor to planned talks between Kim and US President Donald Trump next month.
As the summit came to an end today, Kim and Moon clasped hands as K-pop blared during a bizarre farewell and photos of their meeting were projected onto a massive screen installed in front of the building where they met. Kim then boarded a black Mercedes Benz limousine that drove him back north.
This afternoon, Kim and Moon embraced warmly after signing a statement in which they declared ‘there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula’. The two countries said they will push for talks with the US, and potentially China, to officially end the 1950-53 conflict, which stopped with an armistice and left the Koreas still technically at war.
They also agreed to rid their peninsula of nuclear weapons but did not provide any new specific measures outlining how to achieve the objective.
Kim said: ‘We are going to be one again, as we share the same history, the same language, the same culture, the same blood. We are going to happily look back at the hard times in the past when we achieve a new future. No pain, no gain. Let us go forward, step by step for the bright future together.’
It comes following a year in which North Korea, the South and the US traded increasingly bellicose rhetoric about nuclear war amid a series of atomic tests by Kim’s regime, but then dramatically softened their stances in the last few months.
A delighted Donald Trump tweeted this morning: ‘KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!’
In an earlier tweet, he had cautiously praised the talks, writing: ‘After a furious year of missile launches and Nuclear testing, a historic meeting between North and South Korea is now taking place. Good things are happening, but only time will tell!’