#Hot Issues of the Week l 2019-07-07
President Moon Jae-in suggested the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea virtually declared an end to the Korean War by shaking hands across the inter-Korean border at the demilitarized zone two days ago.
"For the first time in 66 years since the signing of the Armistice Agreement, the leaders of North Korea and the U.S. shook hands at the military demarcation line, and the President of the United States, without any special protection, crossed the line and set foot on North Korean soil guided by the North Korean leader. At the same time in the same place, there was a three-way meeting between the two Koreas and the U.S. That means, not by the signing of a document but by action, they declared the end to hostilities and the beginning of a new era of peace."
During a Cabinet meeting at the top office on Tuesday, Moon sought to add meaning to the surprise face-to-face between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjeom.
The South Korean presidential office has regarded previous inter-Korean summits and military agreements working in effect as nonaggression pacts ending the war. But Washington and Pyongyang have not formally addressed the war that ended with an armistice 66 years ago.
The South Korean president praised Trump and Kim for going beyond conventional diplomacy to make the meeting happen.
"The Panmunjeom meeting between the leaders of North Korea and the
U.S. was possible due to President Trump's 'unconventional offer' through social media and the 'bold acceptance' by Chairman Kim. The unconventional offer and the brave acceptance are the result of amazing
imagination that go beyond common sense."
While touting bold and creative moves, Moon also tried to gain public and international support to reopen the inter-Korean Gaeseong industrial complex in the North, which has been shut down since North Korea's nuclear test in 2016.
Moon said that during their visit to a guard post at the demilitarized zone on Sunday, he explained to Trump the significance of the inter-Korean factory park and how much economic and security benefits it brought to the Korean Peninsula.
The Moon Jae-in administration and the North Korean regime have both expressed their intentions to restart factory operations at the Gaesong park, but its reopening is currently banned under U.S.-led international sanctions.