North and South Korea Handshake.jpg

When North and South Met

Written by James Wales

 

For as long as I can remember, the North Korea/ South Korea divide has been ever present. The figure of Kim Jong – un will always carry negative motifs in my mind. From main stream media painting him as a mad dictator, to play ground talk of Kim Jung – un taking over the world (Have to forgive the child’s tendency for the over dramatic) everyone knew the relationship between North Korea and South Korea, and its unstable condition. From 1950, the start of the Korean war, to date, the two proud nations have been locked in a hostile relationship, constantly flaring up and escalating. When Donald Trump entered the North Korea issue, blowing everything out of proportion with threats of war, there seemed to be convictions that the area would ever see rest. After being subjected to all this never did I think that both Kim Jong – un and Moon Jae – in would ever strike up a positive agreement.

On Friday the 27th April, that’s exactly what the two nations did. In a landmark moment, the two leaders of the Koreas met to agree the complete denuclearisation of the two nations. The Panmunjom agreement, named after the village the truce meeting took place, committed the two leaders to seek a denuclearisation of the peninsula.

Both leaders confirmed the common goal of a nuclear free peninsula. They share the view that the measures being initiated by North Korea are very meaningful and crucial for the denuclearisation of the peninsula and agreed to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities in this regard.

This in itself is a monumental moment for the 80 million lives of both Korean states, but this agreement transcends the topic on nuclear weapons. This good measure will start with a halt of all forms of hostility on land, air and sea. The demilitarised zone – the heavily armoured boarders separating the two countries - and the western maritime boarder will become ‘peace zones’. Both countries will halt their loud speaker propaganda broadcasts and dismantle broadcast equipment as well. They also vowed to work more closely on bilateral issues, including reuniting families divided by the Korean War and improving the transport links going across the border.

This is the first friendly talks between the two nations, and although their past is violent and tense, it very much seems like both Kim Jong – un and Moon Jae – in are actively trying to pave way for the brighter future for their nations. Moon has vowed there will be no going back to an era of tension and provocation that has occasionally brought the pair to the brink of war.

Kim himself produced a statement regarding everything that the Panmunjom agreement meant to him. “We have waited for this day for a long time. We are tied by blood and cannot be separated – we are the same country, the same people and should not be separated by hostility. We hope we

can open a new road towards a new future, and that is why I crossed the demarcation line today. We hope for a new era of peace, and we have reaffirmed our commitment to that.”

Broad smiles, smiles that accompanied both leaders throughout the day shone as they signed the ground breaking agreement, and after, by the South Korean leader’s request, they both raised their encased hands, signifying a truce that will hopefully be acted on, and the start to a peaceful and fruitful relationship between the two countries of Korea.

 

Written by James Wales