BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) — The world welcomed the two Koreas’ joint commitment to denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula at Friday’s summit, looking forward to the next key meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
At the end of the summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held on the South Korean side of the border village of Panmunjom, their Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula pledged joint efforts for national reconciliation, denuclearization and lasting peace.
HISTORIC SUMMIT EXPECTED TO LEAD TO PEACE
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the meeting “truly historic” and offered UN assistance to implement the agreements.
“He counts on the parties to build on their first meeting and swiftly implement all agreed actions to further inter-Korean trust-building and reconciliation, sincere dialogue, and progress towards sustainable peace and verifiable denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula,” Guterres’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
Welcoming the joint declaration as “positive” and “conducive”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said, “We hope that the relevant parties will maintain the momentum for dialogue and work together to promote the denuclearization of the Peninsula and the political settlement of the Peninsula issue.”
China stands ready to continue to play its positive role to this end, he added.
Trump tweeted: “After a furious year of missile launches and nuclear testing, a historic meeting between North and South Korea is now taking place.”
Moscow said, “We regard it as a significant step by Seoul and Pyongyang toward national reconciliation”, standing ready to facilitate “the establishment of practical cooperation” between them.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement, “It shows that dialogue and diplomacy are our strongest tools to create peaceful solutions to the most difficult problems, and that they can benefit the region and the whole world.”
Countries in and beyond Asia including the Philippines, Thailand, Nepal and France hailed the outcome of the summit, hoping it would promote regional peace and stability.
POSITIVE SIGN FOR PLANNED TRUMP-KIM MEETING
“We now look forward to the planned summit meeting between the President of the United States and the leader of the DPRK and further positive outcomes that may stem from it,” Mogherini said.
Experts in the United States are regarding the success of Friday’s summit as a positive sign for the Trump-Kim meeting planned in the coming weeks, while cautioning against excessive optimism.
Ian Bremmer, chairman of the New York-headquartered think tank Eurasia Group, called the outcome of the inter-Korean summit “the first significant unreservedly positive geopolitical development of the year.”
“It’s hard to see the United States credibly threatening military preemption when peace is breaking out across the Peninsula, which is precisely the point,” he said. “Ultimately it’s a win for everybody.”
Richard Haass, president of the U.S. think tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), described the summit as an “extraordinary development on Korean Peninsula” that will help defuse tensions that might have slided into military confrontation.
Former U.S. diplomat Mintaro Oba likened the summit to the opening gambit in chess.
“How you play it sets up the other possible moves that come after it,” he said. “So the inter-Korean summit’s significance lies primarily in what atmosphere it creates and what expectations it reinforces heading into the next move, which is the Trump-Kim summit.”
Scott A. Snyder, CFR’s senior analyzer on the Korean Peninsula, said Seoul recognizes that improvements in inter-Korean relations will be ultimately tied to any progress in U.S.-DPRK relations.
A U.S.-DPRK summit will be “high-risk, high-reward” for both Kim and Trump, because failure could entrench their previous opposing stances and lead to further confrontation, he said.
Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, predicted that with Pyongyang, Washington will “seek to broaden and deepen the meaning of denuclearization and set a timetable for elimination of the weapons, with benchmarks, in exchange for sanctions relief and diplomatic relations.” ( Ryan Hass, a Brookings Institution scholar on Asia issue, said it would be wise for the White House to manage expectations, rather than inflate them.
“It’s going to be difficult for Trump to exceed either the hopefulness of the Moon-Kim meeting or the standards on verification set by JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) Iran deal,” he said.