Panmunjom agreement kindles hope for peace

(VOVWORLD) - Since leaders of the two Koreas signed an agreement at a historic summit on Friday in the border village of Panmunjom, Seoul and Pyongyang have taken initial steps to realize their commitments. The comprehensive agreement has sparked hopes for a permanent peace on the Korean peninsula.
Panmunjom agreement kindles hope for peace - ảnh 1 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Panmunjom summit. (photo:Kyodo/VNA)

April 27 was a landmark in Korean history. For the first time after decades of confrontation, the leaders of the two Koreas announced to 80 million Korean people and the world that there will be no more war on the Korean peninsula and a new era of peace will begin.

The Panmunjom agreement is intended to end the division and confrontation that have persisted since the Cold War and begin a new era of national conciliation, peace, prosperity, and progress in the two Koreas.

First positive steps

The Republic of Korea and the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea agreed to stop all hostile acts over land, sea and air that could cause military tensions or clashes. They will turn the demilitarized zone into a peace zone on May 2nd, stop all hostile acts, and remove propaganda-broadcasting loudspeakers from the border on May 1st. Leader Kim Jong-un agreed to reset North Korea’s clocks, starting May 5th, to sync with South Korea’s clocks in yet another step toward normalised relations.

The South’s Presidential Office confirmed that the North will close down the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in May. The Republic of Korean and American inspectors and journalists will be invited to witness the decommission of the site.

Both Koreas said they have scheduled a high-level conference to discuss the establishment of a liaison office in the Gaesung inter-Korean industrial zone and measures to enhance military exchanges. They plan to resume the Defense Ministers’ Meeting, which has been suspended for 11 years. A military talk at the general level is scheduled for this month to discuss measures to ease military tensions and build trust. Family reunification programs and cultural and sports events will resume.

The Republic of Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit Pyongyang in autumn and hold talks with President of the Worker’s Party of Korea Kim Jong-un.

Door opens for dialogue

These positive signals have kindled hope for a permanent peace on the Korean peninsula. But denuclearization and peace there are tied up with US interests. The public is turning its attention to the US-Korea summit in the next few weeks. If an acceptable agreement is reached on denuclearization, the Panmunjom agreement will be realized, a turning point for the fate of the Korean peninsula. The door to dialogue has opened and it’s time to grasp the opportunity. The US and China will play crucial roles in keeping the dialogue on track.