UN encourages Korean leaders to act swiftly on agreements at ‘historic’ summit


Inter-Korean Summit Press Corps
President Moon Jae-in (right) of the Republic of Korea greets Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong-Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Panmunjeom.

Following Friday’s summit between the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea, Secretary-General António Guterres and other top officials expressed hope that the two countries would swiftly implement all agreed actions, including ridding the Peninsula of nuclear weapons.

“The Secretary-General applauds today’s truly historic summit,” said Mr. Guterres’ Spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, in a statement. “Many around the world were moved by the powerful imagery of the two leaders coming together to advance harmony and peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

According to the declaration signed by both leaders and released after the summit, the two nations agreed on a number of measures, including realizing the common goal of “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” and pursuing phased military arms reduction and talks to declare an official end to the Korean War, which devastated the Peninsula from 1950 to 1953.

An armistice brought about a ceasefire to the Korean War in 1953, but the conflict never officially ended because the parties could not agree to a formal peace treaty.

“The Secretary-General salutes the courage and leadership that resulted in the important commitments and agreed actions outlined in the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula,” noted the Spokesman.

The UN chief “counts on the parties to build on their first meeting and swiftly implement all agreed actions to further inter-Korean trust-building and reconciliation; sincere dialogue; and progress towards sustainable peace and verifiable denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula,” Mr. Dujarric said, adding: The Secretary-General “looks forward to these gains being consolidated and advanced” at the US-DPRK summit expected to take place soon.

Echoing that sentiment, Miroslav Lajčák, the President of the UN General Assembly welcomed the historic summit and recalled the spirit of collaboration that he saw at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics, as demonstrated by the unified Korean team. Today’s Summit is the continuation of a positive trend.

The Assembly President encouraged the two leaders to implement the agreed-upon measures to advance inter-Korean relations and ease military tensions. “It is in the interests of all Member States to work towards achieving peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” he said.

Separately, Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the UN-partner Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), applauded the commitment to “complete denuclearization” as pledged in the Panmunjom Declaration.

He especially noted the agreement by the two countries to actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

In this spirit, Mr. Zerbo expressed the CTBTO’s readiness to provide all possible assistance.