Statement by President Moon Jae-in at a Joint Press Conference Following the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit in Pyeongyang
Fellow Koreans in the North, the South and abroad,
A Korean Peninsula free of war has begun to take shape. The South and North agreed today to eliminate all risks that could lead to war from all parts of the Korean Peninsula.
A joint inter-Korean military committee will be formed to enable constant consultations on implementing military-related agreements. Even though the sounds of artillery fire of the Korean War were silenced by the 1953 Armistice Agreement, war has continued to haunt our lives for the past 65 years.
Young lives have been lost needlessly, and invisible walls have arisen between neighbors. By turning the Korean Peninsula into a permanent peace zone, we will now be able to restore normalcy in our lives.
Our society can be reshaped into a nation that exists solely for the people as we depart from the privilege, corruption and disregard for human rights that have been spawned by the threat of war and ideological confrontation.
What I have to tell you today floods my heart with emotion. For the first time, South and North Korea have agreed on measures for denuclearization. This is an extremely meaningful accomplishment.
The North has agreed to permanently shut down an engine test site and missile launch pad in Dongchang-ri, in the presence of experts from the countries concerned. Contingent upon corresponding measures by the United States, the North will also carry out further measures such as the permanent dismantlement of the Yeongbyeon nuclear facility.
These are delightful and thankful actions for all Koreans. Complete denuclearization is not far away. Going forward, North and South Korea will closely consult and cooperate with the United States and the international community to achieve denuclearization once and for all.
Our role now has become critical. The trust and support of the people are more desperately needed than ever.
Fellow Koreans in the North and South,
Following the announcement of the Panmunjeom Declaration, a grand change is taking place on and around the Korean Peninsula, which can be seen as a historic development. For the first time in history, the two leaders of North Korea and the United States sat together for talks and announced an agreement.
North Korea pledged to completely halt further nuclear and missile tests and has kept that promise. South Korea and the United States suspended large-scale joint military drills.
In Gaeseong, a joint liaison office has been established. A new era has dawned, enabling the two Koreas to discuss issues at any time. Though it really seems like a dream, it is definitely taking place before our eyes.
The Korean people’s yearning for peace and prosperity has never ceased even for an instant. Though the progress seems rapid, it has not been rapid at all.
These developments are finally unfolding before us as a result of longstanding desires and preparations. The shared sentiments of 80 million Koreans have opened a way for peace.
We will have to sincerely follow this path we have paved and take substantive steps by finalizing complete denuclearization. Today in Pyeongyang, Chairman Kim and I agreed to further enhance exchanges and cooperation between the South and North and to develop concrete plans for a balanced economic growth of the Korean people.
The South and North will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the reconnection of railroads and roads on the eastern and western coastal regions within this year. If favorable conditions materialize, the operation of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and tourism at Geumgangsan Mountain will be normalized.
Environmental cooperation on the Korean Peninsula and healthcare and medical services coordination aimed at preventing the influx and spread of infectious diseases will be able to start immediately. Priority will be placed on restoring the Geumgangsan reunion center and enabling letter exchanges and video-conference reunions.
We agreed to cooperate on a bid to jointly host the 2032 Summer Olympics. We also decided to make concrete preparations for joint events to mark the 100th anniversary of the March First Independence Movement.
In October, a Pyeongyang art troupe will come to Seoul. The “Coming of Autumn” performance will bring South and North Korea even closer. I invited Chairman Kim Jong Un to visit Seoul, and Chairman Kim agreed to come before long.
Here, “before long” has an implication that it would be within this year barring extraordinary circumstances. Chairman Kim’s visit to Seoul would be the first by a North Korean supreme leader, and it is expected to become a monumental milestone in inter-Korean relations.
Fellow Koreans in the North, the South and abroad,
Today, Chairman Kim has clearly shown the way to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and we have agreed on the vision of freeing the Peninsula from nuclear weapons, nuclear threat and war. We have lived up to the expectations of all Koreans and the world.
I profoundly respect the determination and actions by Chairman Kim. Inter-Korean relations will continue without interruption. Now, I look forward to North Korea and the United States resuming their dialogue soon, based on the achievements of this Pyeongyang summit.
North Korea and the United States have repeatedly reaffirmed mutual trust by exchanging personal letters between their two leaders. We promise that we will also do our best to help the two sides hold another summit as soon as possible and find a middle ground to reach an agreement.
This past spring, the seeds of peace and prosperity were sown on the Korean Peninsula. And today, this autumn in Pyeongyang, the fruits of peace and prosperity are maturing. Thank you.