It will not be easy to transform the longstanding Korean conflict into a lasting peace in a short period of time. Reduction of military tensions, confidence-building and arms reduction are challenging tasks.
to be real. Indeed, a rocky road is ahead.
second, the leaders narrowed a perpetual gap in mutual negotiations. Previously, south Korea favored a functionalist approach based on the logic of “economy first,” while North Korea always insisted on “military-political issues first.” This was the first inter-korean summit that converged on the primacy of military-political issues.
Third, and equally critical, is the adoption of a written agreement on complete denuclearization. In the past, North Korea consistently refused to accept the nuclear issue as an agenda item in any inter-korean talks, arguing that it was a matter for discussion solely between the us and North Korea. but this time, Kim made a written commitment on complete denuclearization, which was even reported in the Rodong Sinmun, an unprecedented action by the official daily of the Korean Workers’ Party. There was another sign of Kim’s commitment to complete denuclearization, in which he told Moon that North Korea’s nuclear test sites in Punggye-ri were still usable, but that he would close them in May in a transparent manner by inviting experts and journalists from the us and south Korea to witness the occasion. although he did not invite experts, Kim did demolish the test sites on May 24 in the presence of foreign journalists, signaling a good start toward complete denuclearization.
Fourth, contrary to common understanding, Kim was pragmatic and realistic. he mentioned neither a reduction and withdrawal of us forces in south Korea nor the status of the south Koreaus alliance as a precondition for North Korea’s denuclearization. It was quite amazing to hear him say that “once we start talking, the us will know that I am not a person to launch nuclear weapons at south Korea, the Pacific and the us.” and he identified to Moon what he wants from the us: frequent meetings, building trust, ending war and establishing a non-aggression treaty. he then added, “[if these conditions are met,] why would we have nuclear weapons and suffer?” That is why he wanted to link denuclearization to the process of ending war and building a peace regime. as the declaration says, if the process of ending the Korean War and transforming the armistice into a peace treaty occurs, his efforts to denuclearize will correspondingly be expedited.
Finally, realizing that past agreements and declarations were not implemented, both leaders pledged to implement what they agreed to. such a commitment from them will make the agreements more binding than ever before. equally interesting is that specific dates for major meetings and events were identified in the declaration in a very concrete manner. high-level talks and a general-level military meeting were scheduled for May. The reunions of separated families will
As observers have pointed out, the Panmunjom Declaration seems too good and too comprehensive