South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands after delivering a joint statement during the inter-Korean summit at the truce village of Panmunjom on Friday. Photo: Host Broadcaster via REUTERS TV
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Korean leaders aim for complete denuclearisation; will work with U.S., China

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By Christine Kim and Josh Smith

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Nobel Peace Prize candidates?

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

Wow things are moving at a frenetic pace in the Korean peninsula. And to think that just a few months ago people (even on this site) were predicting all-out war with massive casualties and South Korea all but destroyed.

The decades long stalemate between South and North Korea is finally approaching the end.

Shades of East and West Germany of 1990!

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

Nobel Peace Prize candidates? Trump wont accept that unless he get the prize also.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

As part of efforts to reduce tensions, the two sides agreed to open a liaison office, stop propaganda broadcasts and leaflet drops along the border, and allow Korean families divided by the border to meet. Just days before the summit, Kim said North Korea would suspend nuclear and long-range missile tests and dismantle its only known nuclear test site.

Seeds of PEACE are being planted here, let people of goodwill in the world water and tend them to fruition.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Now free the poor North Korean people living in a distopian hell beyond imagination and be done once and for all with the Stalinist nightmare.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Positive news. Hope it all continues.

Nobel Peace Prize candidates? Trump wont accept that unless he get the prize also.

Its going to be interesting watching the left try to divorce the actions of Trump from contributing to the positive place that we are at today. They will not give any credit when its utterly obvious that if it wasn't for Trump and the coalition pursuing sanctions etc, even ratcheting up the rhetoric, we would be right back to where we have been since the end of the Korean War. That is the reality. It will definitely give Trump a boost.

Anyway, its a day for Koreans to celebrate and I sincerely hope the entire project moves forward towards unification. Japan has nothing to fear from such an outcome under a denuclearized scenario and everything to gain, particular since Japan itself is unlikely to ever go nuclear.

A democratic unified Korea would be a great thing for the region.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

"They will work with China and the U.S."

Translation: they will do whatever China and the U.S. will ask.

In other words: nothing changed. See ya in the next episode of this soap opera!

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Beware of people who threaten your neck one week then promise peace and smile the next.

I’d love to hear some of the dialogue with China, Trump, and the Koreas that led to this.

This didnt just happen...the MSM news would have you believe that they were ready to die one day and shake the next.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Peace or no peace, Kim's regime remains the greatest enemy of the Korean people.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The two Koreas can coexist peacefully, as long as the Americans don't threaten North Korea existence, and viceversa, the Chinese don't threaten South Korea existence. The reunification under the South Korean (American) flag is simply a delusion, this isn't absolutely the same situation of Germany post Soviet Union collapse.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The two Koreas can coexist peacefully, as long as the Americans don't threaten North Korea existence, and viceversa, the Chinese don't threaten South Korea existence. The reunification under the South Korean (American) flag is simply a delusion, this isn't absolutely the same situation of Germany post Soviet Union collapse.

It will be reunification under a unified, sovereign Korean flag and, broadly speaking, a liberal democratic model. As such, a unified Korea will be, at the very least, not anti-American or anti-West but its also unlikely that a unified Korea will maintain the same level of U.S forces as it does now, so you can expect a reasonably significant U.S withdrawal. That's not bad for America either given the costs of the whole enterprise.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

We are not going to see reunification any time soon - the NK regime has too much to lose, especially with US forces still based south of the border. However, if the two sides could agree peace terms and recognise each other as partners rather than opponents, there will be a period of peaceful co-existence, ahead of reunification at some point in the future.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Matt: I really doubt you read Chinese press. You should do it, to have a more complete picture of the things. China wouldn't agree with your idea.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Somewhat awkward now for our salacious, self-appointed 'genius' POTUS DT. It will be difficult for DT to claim any credit for the peaceful actions of N and S Korea. It is scary now that DT will go over and probably blow the whole thing apart with his undiplomatic approach to fostering peace in the world. Maybe DT will get a cold and have to postpone it, or not even go as there isn't anything he can accomplish. It is marvelous that N and S Korea have really taken the initiative on their own.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

It's historic that a NK dictator stepped over the demarcation line and talked live on stage in front of people

Still, South Koreans are in wait-and-see attitude after earlier summits came to nothing

Kim won't give up power, so there likely won't be reunification (unless South Korea agrees to be ruled under Kim)

But an united Koreas could then gang up against Japan's territorial claims

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

@CrazyJoe: "N and S Korea have really taken the initiative on their own"

Really? I remember the first summit happened between North Korea and China. South Korea and the U.S. were only "forced" by this circumstance to accept North Korea openness for not looking like the villains in front of the whole world.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Matt: I really doubt you read Chinese press. You should do it, to have a more complete picture of the things. China wouldn't agree with your idea.

Ultimately the Koreans will decide what they want and given the vast, vast differences in wealth and power between North and South Korea it is entirely obvious that when unification occurs, it will, eventually, be under a liberal democratic model, primarily directed from Seoul but not solely so. The capital of the North will be a second capital of sorts. That's not entirely unusual. And the Americans will withdraw to a fairly reasonable degree but not completely. THAAD will be withdrawn. The entire process is going to take a decade at least. It wont be a quick fix.

Do you think a unified Korea will be in the mold of China, a socialist dictatorship? Again, the weight of numbers and money rests in South Korea and they are very serious about their democracy and protecting it.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I see a historic handshake and also a big middle finger to Japan.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@Matt: I highly doubt China would accept a Korean reunification without a COMPLETE American withdrawl. American presence in South Korea is seen like a threat to Chinese sovereignty. As I already told you, you should read also Chinese press. Today, I read on Chinese press that North Korea now will focus itself on economic growth. It will pursue an "economy first" strategy, based on socialist economic construction.

Go to read Chinese press by yourself. I didn't see anything similar to what you are thinking.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

It will be difficult for DT to claim any credit for the peaceful actions of N and S Korea

How will be difficult? It will be extremely easy and you can bet he will try to claim some of the credit and when you look at the timeline of events, its going to be extremely difficult to refute.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@Matt: I highly doubt China would accept a Korean reunification without a COMPLETE American withdrawl. American presence in South Korea is seen like a threat to Chinese sovereignty. As I already told you, you should read also Chinese press. Today, I read on Chinese press that North Korea now will focus itself on economic growth. It will pursue an "economy first" strategy, based on socialist economic construction.

Go to read Chinese press by yourself. I didn't see anything similar to what you are thinking.

What makes you think that what China wants is more important than what Koreans want under a scenario in which blood and family ties are to renewed? Read the statement that came out of the meeting. They made it very plain the two Korea's will decide what path it all takes in consultation with the U.S and China, but its primarily a Korean project. Sure, economic reconstruction of the North will have to be part of this entire process, but it wont be supported by anybody outside of Korea without Kim going down the denuclearization path and judging by the new agreement made today, point 4 states, that complete denuclearization is the goal.

 I highly doubt China would accept a Korean reunification without a COMPLETE American withdrawl. 

Even with a complete withdrawal, you would still have a liberal democratic unified Korea. One that could change its leadership under the democratic vote at any time and one that could, if threatened by China, turn anti-Chinese and pro-American. But one thing you very rarely see, if ever, in the modern era, are wars between democracies, so again Japan benefits and so does the U.S.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Kim dynasty as figurehead head of state emperor and prime minister elected from unified parliament of both koreas probably best...as long as Kim doesn't do any more poisonings and the nuke button is kept away from him.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan once again on the sidelines as the SK President Moon rewrites history.

Winners, NK people and Asia as a whole

Losers, China, USA and most definitely Japan.

Trump of course was against this diplomatic effort when it started, he tried to kill it but SK just blew him off. Of course Abe's fake war propaganda is now dead. Doubt he has enough time left now on the clock to come up with yet another fake issue like the NK

kidnapping and then daily barrage on NHK of NK any minute now attacking Japan.

Years of hardline tactics by the rightwing incompetents like bush, abe and trump, along with the soon to be in jail former President Park of SK got nowhere. It took an Obama like gutsy liberal politician to end the Cold War on the Korean peninsula. Nobel Prize indeed. Obama got his award early, they knew he would not start stupid wars like Bush Jr did twice. Wars by the way that are still going on today nearly two decades later.

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

Years of hardline tactics by the rightwing incompetents like bush, abe and trump, along with the soon to be in jail former President Park of SK got nowhere.

One year of Trump and now we have peace talks. Care to start again?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The winners are China and North Korea. Simply this.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

The winners are China and North Korea. Simply this.

The winners are everyone, especially the two Korea's and Asia as a whole.

Still, it is very early days and a derailment is not at all unlikely. The whole question of verification of denuclearization is a big, big unknown and you can bet there will be a extremely strong insistence that the whole of North Korea is inspected. How will Kim respond to that?

Keep in mind that sanctions, if lifted, can be reapplied at any time and will be if progress is not seen on that question.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It seems very doubtful that Kim Jong Un would easily give up all nukes whatever. NK took so many years to make them in terrible criticisms.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Abe asks Moon to visit Japan before inter-Korean summit

What happened to that?

It is good to see both Koreas are working together to resolve THEIR problem. This is only the first step toward a peaceful resolution , but it is a big step forward.

Lets hope other countries don't sabotage this process.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Let there be hope. Let us see.  As someone who lived with the threat of nuclear war in the 70s/80s, well, to be here in Japan and experience what thought was something of the past -- to have to imagine seeing your family vaporised by an atomic blast -- to even have a beam of light in the darkness... filled me full of emotion.  Come on. We can do it. Live in peace.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

People may be lambasting President Trump, but his ways do appear to have resulted in concerned parties getting involved (China particularly) and getting us to this point. Now, it's up to all involved to see this through without back tracking, or putting up additional hurdles.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I am sorry the cynic inside me determines that a culture, for decades, has been under the abuse and propaganda, a cult of personality, the adulation of a living supreme leader is suddenly to give up, fold their nuclear weapons program , all the political ambitions to rid the region of US military influence provokes a question, how long has Japan got to defend itself ?

This has Beijing pernicious political influence and duplicity written large.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The one possible good point in all this is that the Koreans do not want their own national interests to be sacrificed to the interests of larger powers. They would rather make peace themselves, between Koreans, and tell the Americans to go away. This war is no longer about Communism versus Capitalism. Would it be so terrible to have two Koreas, living in peace with each other, trading with each other, and no foreign troops on the peninsula?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The Government of China are completing fortified sand castles in the South China sea, CrazyJoe.

Remove US forward bases from South Korea/ Japan and $5 trillion worth of global trade that passes through the South China Sea is at risk.

Be in no doubt that will provoke a confrontation that could invoke a third world war.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They would rather make peace themselves, between Koreans, and tell the Americans to go away.

People want a lot of things in life, the US wants a denuclearized NK, but we just won't know how that will go and we won't just take the word of Kim or Moon, we need to be very realistic of NK past, they have lied so many times, they need to make concessions first and once we can see for ourselves that NK is concretely and deliberately dismantling their nukes, we can take the next step, but until then, we need to be slightly optimistically cautious.

Would it be so terrible to have two Koreas, living in peace with each other, trading with each other, and no foreign troops on the peninsula?

That will take a very long time, but we shall see.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Something I find interesting is that dictatorships and/or oppressive regimes generally try to take credit for anything they possibly can. ISIS for example was happy to take credit for pretty much any terrorist attack in the world, because it bolstered their image. And many people did attacks in the name of ISIS even though they had never communicated.

Now we are potentially seeing some historical changes (though truth be told I’m still skeptic about NK) through discussions between the different sides of the fractured Koreas, and some people are congratulating Trump, who has only added incendiary comments at best, and if a solution is found between the Koreas, it will be in spite of Trump’s efforts, not due to them.

But some people will try to take credit for everything.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The US will NEVER allow reunification of the two Koreas as if this happened there would be no excuse in maintaining military and nuclear bases in Japan and South Korea. Trump and the US military will find some way to throw a spanner in the works. Until the nations of the world get a backbone, they will remain under US dictatorship and domination, even as far as the World (soccer) Cup location.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

@JonathanJo

Nobel Peace Prize candidates?

This may sound disturbing, but the only politician nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year is Donald Trump.

Moon asked his supporters to nominate Trump and not him.

@Matt Hartwell

Japan has nothing to fear from such an outcome under a denuclearized scenario

The ROK would now want to settle old debt with Japan. So Japan definitely doesn't want a unified Korea.

@Alex80

Translation: they will do whatever China and the U.S. will ask.

China demanded that the US remove its troops. Kim made no such demand, saying the US troops were serving a purpose beyond Korea. Xi was alarmed by Kim's apparant acceptance of US troop presence and annual drills, and demanded a visit to Pyongyang before Trump-Kim summit to straighten things out. Kim refused, that he would talk with Xi only after the Trump summit.

So Kim is in fact not listening to China.

I highly doubt China would accept a Korean reunification without a COMPLETE American withdrawl.

What China wishes doesn't matter and is not a factor here, as Xi is just finding out.

@thepersonianmnow

I’d love to hear some of the dialogue with China, Trump, and the Koreas that led to this.

There was none. China was kept out of this whole process.

Alex80

as long as the Americans don't threaten North Korea existence,

It is not the US that Kim fears, he fears the ROK military, whose ground force is the largest and the most powerful of the free world. Yup, larger than the US army.

the Chinese don't threaten South Korea existence.

China can't threaten the ROK's existence. The ROK is the only country in Asia that can wage an all out war with China.

@rlperez@hotmail.com.au

The US will NEVER allow reunification of the two Koreas as if this happened there would be no excuse in maintaining military and nuclear bases in Japan and South Korea.

The US would love it, since it would allow the US to put an air base 600 km away from Beijing, where US F-22 and F-35 jets can reach Beijing in 30 minutes.

The only parties that don't want unification are China and Japan.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

The US will NEVER allow reunification of the two Koreas as if this happened there would be no excuse in maintaining military and nuclear bases in Japan and South Korea. 

Maybe China doesn't want a friendly unified capitalist Korea, wouldn't be in China's best interest. Flip that around.

Trump and the US military will find some way to throw a spanner in the works. 

And you know this and are certain of this because......

Until the nations of the world get a backbone, they will remain under US dictatorship and domination, even as far as the World (soccer) Cup location.

Oh, dear Lord....ROFL...

6 ( +11 / -5 )

This is an amazing turn of events, I am cautiously hopeful we will see huge changes for the better on the peninsula.

But how do all of you just conveniently forgets that Moon himself publicly credited Trump for bringing Kim to the table? Of all the boneheaded things Trump has done, his treatment of Kim does not seem to be one of them.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/10/south-koreas-moon-says-trump-deserves-big-credit-for-north-korea-talks.html

9 ( +12 / -3 )

You can bet kim and moon shared a joke and a laugh over that pudding!

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

@Samit Basu: so, you are saying that ROK is stronger both than China and the U.S.

ROK is a superpower, and we didn't know it! Well, they could attack both China (so they can unify the Korean peninsula) and Japan (so they can get their covet revenge), without any American help!

It looks the plot of a funny ultranationalist South Korean movie.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Looks like they will formalize a peace treaty soon.

North Korea will stop with the propaganda, but will take cues from their southern neighbor and most definitely not stop with the anti Japan propaganda. Even while Kim seeks handouts from Japan, his regime and both Koreas will never stop brainwashing their citizens to hate Japan from childhood.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

N. Korean Kim Jong-un has no other choice except come to negotiate table with US and S. Korea.

The nuclear test site was collapsed and the oil for ICBM fuel was cutting off. Kim Jong-un cannot test nuclear weapon and no fuel for ICBM.

The sanction is hurting N. Korean economy and the country is facing shortage of foods and fuel.

Does he (Kim Jong-un) sincerely committed to peace and denuclearize Korean Peninsula?

Only time will tell the truth about Kim Jong-un's intention.

Kim Jong-un believed the US President Donald Trump won't hesitate to use nuclear weapon against N. Korea if N. Korean has owned ICBM that has reached mainland United State.

Obviously, Kim Jong-un scares the US President Trump and he believed the US can destroy N. Korea with conventional weapons, even if the US doesn't use nuclear weapon against N. Korea.

Kim Jong-un understood the US President Donald Trump was unpredictable and ruthless business man. N. Korean leader is facing with extreme tough the US President and not like his father's opponents current President's predecessor former President Bill Clinton, George Bush and Obama.

The US and S. Korean Governments must give him guarantee they won't be attacking N. Korea and recognized legitimacy of his rule of N. Korea.

Kim Jong-un may not be easily given up his nuclear weapons and ICBM program unless he got what he wanted. He will demand when he meet the US President Donald Trump in next month.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

notice how Japan isn't mentioned once. This is because, due to Japan's actions over the last few years, they will have no place in the new Asia that will form as a result of Korean peace. Korea, China, and Russia needs to ignore Japan altogether as a punishment for how it acted to try to disrupt korean peace talks.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

what is behind the sudden change of NK?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Peace is good. What happened is Trump pressured China and China pressured NK, particularly by cutting off oil. Heroes are Trump and China.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

zurcroniumApr. 27 10:01 pm JST

Japan once again on the sidelines as the SK President Moon rewrites history.

Winners, NK people and Asia as a whole

Losers, China, USA and most definitely Japan.

Intellectually challenged comment, At this stage there are no winners or losers. And since Japan is not on the Korean Penninsula and was not part of the UN Command in te Korean War, where exactly should Japan be if not on the sidelines? Even Russia, who actually sent pilots to fly North Korean fighters in the Korean War are on the "sidelines".

9 ( +11 / -2 )

There isn't any hero. The situation is still the same, since there was NEVER the serious risk of a nuclear war. China and the U.S. (for now) accepted to stop the reciprocal provocations by using the Korean peninsula. They replaced them with a trade war.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@oldman_13: That is obvious. Anti-Japanese education is important for the domestic consensus, and I noticed in South Korea it's also stronger than in China. It's impressive.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

There isn't any hero. The situation is still the same, since there was NEVER the serious risk of a nuclear war.

The situation is the same because N. Korea has come to the table in the past, stating that they are there to deal, and the last time it ended with them walking away saying 'we have a nuclear weapons program'.

Don't forget, abusive husbands always plead that they will be better if their wives take them back. And how many times to those wives get beaten again?

I'm very hopeful that this may end the current situation on the Korean peninsula. But let's not be blinded by hope, we still have to recognize how things are, and how they have been, when making decisions on how to move forward.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I imagine that among Kim’s demands will be that Moon send the American forces in SK packing. With the Yankees gone Kim will find intimidating SK politicians much easier. He still commands a huge army and possesses nuclear weapons. A peace treaty with SK will simply move his family’s long time goal of establishing their rule over the entire peninsula that much closer.

”Seeds of peace”? Seeds of discord.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Korea, China, and Russia needs to ignore Japan altogether as a punishment for how it acted to try to disrupt korean peace talks.

By “disrupt” I assume you mean demand information about Japanese citizens kidnapped by NK.

What nation worthy of that name would forsake its abducted citizens?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

All words no action, all the while in the background NK continues to finetune their nukes and increase their arsenal. Until NK loses all their nukes permanently and submits to constant inspection, this is another play for time by this disgusting stain on humanity which will thankfully be annihilated if they don’t get into line.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Peace on the Korean peninsular, it's denuclearization and even a united Korea or two states one country, will not be achieved by any of the Japanese rightwing groups or extremists who will remain opposed to everything other than the "annihilation."

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

“ A peace treaty with SK will simply move his family’s long time goal of establishing their rule over the entire peninsula that much closer.”

LoL. Imagine that. South Koreans dealing with a tapeworm epidemic. No more delicious Kalbi beef, kimchi, hot sticky white rice, no more bibimbap & shoju.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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