A Declaring Our Independence from War: Trump-Kim Meeting Marks "End of Hostilities & Beginning of New Era of Peace"

July 4, 2019
President Donald J. Trump and Republic of South Korea President Moon Jae-in bid farewell to Chairman of the Workers’ Party Kim Jong Un Korea Sunday, June 30, 2019, at the demarcation line separating North and South Korea at the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

President Moon Jae-in, speaking to his Cabinet Wednesday morning, said: "Now it can be said that not only South and North Korea but also North Korea and the US have declared the end of their hostile relationship and the true beginning of a new era of peace, not through signatures on a document but through action." According to Hankyoreh, "the first meeting between the leaders of these three countries at Panmunjom, Moon asserted, meant that the Korean Peninsula could never return to the hostility of past wars."

Moon also said: "For the first time in the 66 years since the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed, the leaders of North Korea and the US shook hands at the Military Demarcations Line, and the North Korean leader led the American leader over that line and onto North Korean soil without any special security measures. This was also the first time ever that the leaders of both countries visited a guard post on the front lines in a suit and tie, rather than in military fatigues and body armor."

Hankyoreh quotes Dongguk University professor Kim Yong-hyun saying that the meeting of the three leaders at Panmunjom "can be regarded as effectively being a declaration of the end of the war by South Korea, North Korea, and the US. Though it wasn't formal or official, this basically spells the end of the armistice system that has been in place for 66 years, and it's in that sense that President Moon personally described this as a historic day on the path toward a peace regime."

President Moon said that the planned summit between himself and Kim would be postponed temporarily in favor of further US-North Korea diplomatic meetings, adding that "improving inter-Korean relations and reaching progress in North Korea-US dialogue constitute a virtuous cycle....  We need to constantly exercise creativity in order to achieve the truly challenging historical task of achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and building a lasting peace regime."