South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pose for photographs during a signing ceremony after their summit at Paekhwawon State Guesthouse in Pyongyang on September 19
On Sept. 19, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un jointly announced the September Pyongyang Declaration, which includes an agreement by North Korea to permanently shut down its missile engine test site and launch pad at Dongchang Village. The agreement also includes a promise to shut down the Yongbyon nuclear facility, depending on corresponding measures from the US.
Furthermore, Kim agreed to visit Seoul for a fourth inter-Korean summit within the year given that no special circumstances arise.
After signing the September Pyongyang Declaration Agreement at the Paekhwawon Guest House, Moon and Kim held a joint press conference.
“South and North Korea have agreed on concrete denuclearization measures for the first time. This is a very meaningful result,” Moon said.
“North Korea has agreed to permanently shut down its missile engine test site and launch pad at Dongchang Village under the eye of inspectors from concerned nations. North Korea has also agreed to additional measures such as permanently dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear facility, depending on corresponding measures from the US,” Moon added.
Kim also made a statement during the press conference. “I have promised President Moon to visit Seoul in the near future,” he said. “Together, we will end the tragedy of our division as soon as possible and embark upon a sacred journey toward permanent peace and prosperity so as to offer even the slightest of relief for the wounds caused by Korea’s division,” Kim declared.
“The road will not always be smooth,” Kim continued. “But we will always walk hand-in-hand together on this sacred journey toward peace and prosperity, just as we have done today.”
Regarding Kim’s Seoul visit, Mood said, “What Chairman Kim means by ‘near future’ is that he will visit Seoul within the year given that no special circumstances arise.”
“Chairman Kim’s visit to Seoul will mark the first ever visit to Seoul by a North Korean head of state, and will provide groundbreaking momentum for inter-Korean relations,” Moon added.
Additional measures for inter-Korean cooperation
Regarding concrete improvements in inter-Korean economic cooperation, Moon said, “Within this year, South and North Korea will begin construction on projects that link railways and roads along the East and West seas. We will also normalize operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex and resume Mount Kumgang tourism when conditions allow.”
“We will also soon push ahead with environmental cooperation as well as medical cooperation to prevent the influx and spread of contagious diseases,” Moon added.
Moon also said that the Mount Kumgang reunion site will be restored as a permanent facility, and that divided families will be able to communicate through letters and video chat in the meantime.
“We have also agreed to bid to jointly host the 2032 Winter Olympics,” Moon announced. “Furthermore, we have agreed to prepare a joint celebration of the 100th anniversary of the March 1st Movement,” he continued.
“The Pyongyang Art Performance Group will come to South Korea in October. Their performance of ‘Fall has Arrived’ will bring the two Koreas even closer together,” he added.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in exchanges documents with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a signing ceremony after their summit at Paekhwawon State Guesthouse in Pyongyang on September 19
Trump’s tweet just one hour after declaration
US President Donald Trump offered his position on the denuclearization agreements in the Pyongyang Declaration on his Twitter account.
On Sept. 19, Trump tweeted: “Kim Jong Un has agreed to allow Nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations, and to permanently dismantle a test site and launch pad in the presence of international experts. In the meantime there will be no Rocket or Nuclear testing. Hero remains to continue being returned home to the United States. Also, North and South Korea will file a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics. Very exciting!”
Trump’s tweet indicates that he welcomes Kim’s willingness to have outside experts inspect the shutdown of the missile launch site at Dongchang Village. It can also been as his general approval of the agreements of the third inter-Korean summit. Trump posted his tweet at around midnight in Washington time. It is rare for Trump to tweet at such an hour. It was posted just one hour after the Pyongyang Declaration, which is seen as a strong indicator that he was waiting eagerly for the results of the inter-Korean summit.
Moon and Kim are expected to hike Mount Baekdu together on Sept. 20 before the former’s departure for Seoul. On Sept. 19, Blue House Spokesperson Kim Eui-kyum held a press conference at the Pyongyang summit’s press center and said, “President Moon and Chairman Kim have agreed to go to Mount Baekdu together tomorrow.”
“The hike came about when Chairman Kim suggested that the two leaders visit Mount Baekdu together, which President Moon accepted,” he continued. “They are scheduled to leave for Mount Baekdu early tomorrow morning, and further details are currently being worked out.”
By Noh Ji-won, staff reporter
Please direct comments or questions to [email@example.com]