North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in on Tuesday agreed to continue their efforts to ensure long-lasting peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.
After the first day of the inter-Korean summit here, President Moon said at the banquet dinner, “The complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of peace are key agenda items. There could be some challenges to this new approach. “But Chairman Kim and I have trust and friendship. This (The peace and denuclearisation process) has just begun. We will be able to create a future nobody has experienced.”
On the other hand, Kim said that his meeting with President Moon would serve as a “historic chance” for the Korean people, who want to see the strengthening of inter-Korean relations and building peace on the peninsula, Yonhap News Agency reported.
“This time, I and President Moon Jae-in will discuss various issues, related to following up with the Panmunjom Declaration, in a frank and open-minded manner,” the North Korean leader remarked, while referring to the deal signed during their meeting in April in Panmunjom.
Kim went on to say that his understanding and mutual trust with President Moon would help to further achieve steps for realising a peaceful and prosperous Korea.
After the remarks, the two Korean leaders and their wives watched an art performance at the Pyongyang Grand Theatre.
During the start of the summit, Kim thanked President Moon for achieving a breakthrough in the talks between North Korea and the United States.
“Thanks to this (US-North Korea meeting), regional conditions stabilised and a more advanced outcome is expected. I once again express my gratitude for efforts made by President Moon,” the North Korean leader said.
Lauding Kim’s bold decision, President Moon elucidated, “This process has been based on Chairman Kim’s decision, and I express my respect for Chairman Kim’s determination to open a new era.”
Kim expressed hope for a progress in the denuclearisation talks with Washington and thanked President Moon for playing a role in the improvement of ties between North Korea, South Korea and the US.
Underscoring the need to show the world on Pyongyang’s commitment to denuclearise, President Moon said, “The entire world is also watching, so (I) hope we will show the fruits of peace and prosperity to all people in the world.”
The two Korean leaders are set to resume their talks on Wednesday. President Moon is scheduled to return to South Korea on Thursday, but his departure can be delayed for a friendship programme with Kim, which depends upon the outcome of the inter-Korean summit, according to officials.
Earlier, President Moon arrived in Pyongyang, becoming the first South Korean head of state to visit North Korea in over a decade. Kim and his wife Ri Sol-ju received the South Korean president and his wife Kim Jung-sook at the airport.
This is the third meeting between President Moon and Kim. The two Korean leaders had first met at Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) in April, followed by the second meeting in May.