Korean leaders meet, declare the Koreas will never be at war again

Korean leaders meet, declare the Koreas will never be at war again. By Foster Klug.

North Korean state media were silent Saturday, a day after the leaders of the two Koreas met and vowed to remove nuclear weapons from the peninsula and work toward a formal end to the Korean War. Despite the bold declaration, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in failed to provide any new measures on a nuclear standoff that has captivated and terrified millions.

North Korea’s media have not publicly mentioned the summit since reporting early Friday that Kim had left the capital Pyongyang to meet with Moon. It’s possible the North is spending extra time so that its propaganda experts can give the summit a major news treatment on television and in newspapers later Saturday.

If the substance on nuclear matters was light, the images Friday at the border village of Panmunjom were striking: Kim and Moon set aside a year that saw them seemingly on the verge of war, grasped hands and strode together across the cracked concrete slab that marks the Koreas’ border.

The sight, inconceivable just months ago, allowed the leaders to step forward toward the possibility of a cooperative future even as they acknowledged a fraught past and the widespread skepticism that, after decades of failed diplomacy, things will be any different this time.

On the nuclear issue, the leaders merely repeated a previous vow to rid their peninsula of nuclear weapons, saying they will achieve a “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization.” This kicks one of the world’s most pressing issues down the road to a much-anticipated summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in coming weeks.