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North, South Korea agree on ‘complete denuclearization’

The leaders of North and South Korea agreed on Friday to “complete denuclearization” and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, according to local media reports.

The agreement followed a historic bilateral summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the Joint Security Area of Panmunjom in the South.

“The two leaders solemnly declared […] that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and a new age of peace has dawned,” they said in a joint declaration after the summit, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

They also reaffirmed the countries’ earlier agreement for “a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization”.

Yonhap said that two Koreas agreed to push for three- or four-way talks involving the U.S. and China to replace the Korean War cease-fire with a peace treaty.

The South and North “will not use any form of force against each other,” Yonhap cited the joint declaration as saying.

Moon and Kim also “agreed to gradually realize arms reduction when their military tension is removed and trust is practically established.”

Kim is in line to hold a further summit with U.S. President Donald Trump by June, although the details are yet to be confirmed.

AWhite House struck a note of optimism that the talks would be able to achieve progress on an elusive peace on the Korean peninsula.

“The United States appreciates the close coordination with our ally, the Republic of Korea, and looks forward to continuing robust discussions in preparation for the planned meeting between President Donald J. Trump and Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks​,” spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

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