North and South Korea sign peace pact

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Roh Moo-hyun, President of South Korea.

In a historic turn of events, Kim Jong-il, the leader of North Korea, and Roh Moo-hyun, the leader of South Korea, have signed the Declaration on the Advancement of South-North Relations, Peace and Prosperity, an 8-item declaration of "permanent peace," just two days after the two leaders met for a rare Inter-Korean Summit which began on October 2.

Though not a formal peace treaty, the pact stated that, "The South and North share the view that they should end the current armistice system and build up a permanent peace system," and that they "agreed to closely co-operate to end military hostility and ensure peace and easing of tension on the Korean peninsula."

Kim Jong-il, Leader of North Korea.

"We agreed to make a firm commitment to achieving peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula. We shared the need to map out our measures for Korean peace for the future," said Roh.

The pact includes restarting cross-border freight transportation, which had been banned for over 50 years, creates a joint operation for disputed areas of the ocean and also calls for a new armistice.

The deal invites all "concerned" nations, particularly the United States and China, to the Korean Peninsula to observe the end to the war of 1950-1953, otherwise known as the Korean War. The leaders also agreed on the two nations meeting regularly for summits.

Both the leaders signed the pact and then shook hands. They then proposed a toast and drank to the deal in a celebration. This is only the second time in history that leaders of the two nations have met face to face.


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