Go to contents

Roh, Kim Agree on Talks to End Korean War

Posted October. 05, 2007 06:37,   


On October 4, President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il agreed to promote measures to hold a 3- or 4-party summit to declare the end of the Korean war with the aim of replacing the current cease-fire with a permanent peace.

The South Korean government is known to be promoting measures to hold an end-of-war ceremony at Panmunjeom in 2008 in case North Korea completes its denuclearization procedures and faithfully reports all its nuclear programs. Directly related nations will be South Korea, North Korea and the U.S. in case of a 3-party summit, and will include China in case of a 4-party summit. The two leaders signed a Declaration for the Development of inter-Korean Relations and Peaceful Prosperity consisting of a main text, eight main articles, and two annex articles at the reception hall of Baekhwawon Guesthouse, Pyongyang at around 1 p.m. October 4.

In a briefing held at the Koryo Hotel, Pyongyang, presidential secretary for foreign and security policy Baek Jong-cheon said, “The signatories on this declaration are the President of the Republic of Korea Roh Moo-hyun and Chairman of the National Defense Commission of Democratic People`s Republic of Korea Kim Jong Il. Please refer to the declaration as the ‘2007 Inter-Korean Summit Declaration.’”

In the declaration, as part of measures to ease military tension on the Korean Peninsula and to guarantee peace, the two leaders decided to hold an inter-Korean defense-ministerial conference in Pyongyang in November, in order to discuss such issues as the creation of a peaceful zone in the West Sea for the prevention of accidental collisions in the Northern Limit Line zone, and the reinforcement of military trust concerning inter-Korean cooperation projects. They also agreed to hold "frequent" summits to discuss pending issues, and to hold an inter-Korean prime-ministerial conference in Seoul next month for the specific fulfillment of the summit declaration.

In order to expand and advance the economic cooperation projects for the national economic development and prosperity in collaboration, the two leaders also concluded an agreement to establish a ‘special zone for peaceful cooperation’ in the west coast area and to make efforts to create a common fishing zone, settle on peaceful sea areas, construct special economic zones and to jointly use the mouth of Han River.

Regarding the denuclearization issue, however, abstract terminology was used in that the two sides would “make joint efforts to fulfill the 9•19 joint declaration and 2•13 agreement drawn out at the six-party talks. Concerning the method of unification, no specific expression was included, such as ‘federation’ or ‘coalition’. It was only said that the two would stick to the 6•15 Joint Declaration that covers the unification methods of both states, and that both parties would work toward its realization.

In addition, as part of measures to revitalize economic cooperation for balanced economic development and common prosperity, the two sides agreed to hold negotiations on the establishment of a west coast special zone for peaceful cooperation that would cover Haeju and the surrounding ocean, implement the 2nd phase development of the Gaesong Industrial Complex, repair the Gaesong-Shinuiju railway and Gaesong-Pyongyang highway for joint use, and build a direct Seoul-Mt. Baekdu route to encourage tourism.

In the humanitarian field, the two leaders agreed to push for the exchange of video letters between separated families and for frequent family meetings by positioning standing representatives of both sides at an interview booth at Mt. Geumgang as soon as its construction is completed.

Returning from Pyongyang, President Roh visited the Gaesong Industrial Complex before arriving in Seoul. The Korean government will hold a special state affairs conference at Cheong Wa Dae on October 5 supervised by President Roh in order to discuss ways to fulfill the summit declaration, and will draft government-level response measures.