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Korean War to be declared officially over after 65 years, following historic summit between North and South

Countries have committed to turn their border into a 'peace zone'

Andrew Griffin
Friday 27 April 2018 11:18 BST
Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in make history by stepping into each other's territory at South Korea summit

The Korean War will be formally declared over after 65 years, the North and South have said.

At a historic summit between leaders Kim Jong-Un and Moon Jae-in, the neighbouring countries agreed they would work towards peace on the peninsula with a formal end to the conflict set to be announced later this year.

The pair agreed to bring the two countries together and establish a "peace zone" on the contested border.

The war began in 1950 and most fighting came to an end with an armistice three years later. But peace was never officially declared and the two countries have been officially at war ever since.

At their first summit in more than a decade, the two sides announced they would seek an agreement to establish "permanent" and "solid" peace on the peninsula.

"The two leaders declare before our people of 80 million and the entire world there will be no more war on the Korean peninsula and a new age of peace has begun," the official declaration said.

The statement included promises to pursue military arms reduction, cease "hostile acts," turn their fortified border into a "peace zone," and seek multilateral talks with other countries, such as the United States.

North Korean leader Mr Kim and South Korean President Moon announced after their summit on Friday that the Koreas would push for three-way talks including Washington or four-way talks that also include Beijing on converting the armistice into a peace treaty and establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The Koreas said they hope the parties will be able to declare an official end to the war by the end of this year. South Korea's President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang sometime this autumn, though it is not clear whether that event will include the official end of the war.

While President Donald Trump has given his "blessing" for the Koreas to discuss an end to the war, there can be no real solution without the involvement of Washington and other parties that fought in the war because South Korea wasn't a direct signatory to the armistice that stopped the fighting.

The announcement came amid a friendly mood as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met at the border. It was the first time any North Korean leader has stepped onto South Korean soil since the Korean War began.

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