Korea leaders release joint statement declaring the war is over

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POOL | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The leaders of North and South Korea have pledged to jointly eliminate the risk of war and work together to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The joint statement Friday, from the border truce village of Panmunjom, concluded a historic one-day bilateral summit aimed at achieving peace between the two adversarial nations for the first time in more than sixty years. The meeting of the Korean leaders was the first in more than a decade.

The statement was released during the signing of a pact between South Korean President Moon Jae-In and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un seeking to establish a “permanent” and “solid” peace on the Peninsula.

The two Koreas promised to ease military tensions, work together to achieve a peace regime, and work toward a nuclear-free region. They also pledged to improve inter-Korean relations and work toward co-prosperity and achieve a future of unification.

This will involve turning their fortified border into a “peace zone,” pursuing multilateral talks with other states such as the U.S., working toward arms reduction and ceasing “hostile acts,” according to the statement.

Relations between the countries have been hostile since the Korean War that began in 1950 and saw well over one million people killed.

North and South Korea have technically still been at war since then, as cessation of the conflict was only enabled by an armistice signed in 1953 rather than a peace agreement.

“We are at a starting line today, where a new history of peace, prosperity and inter-Korean relations is being written,” Kim said, following a historic handshake with Moon on the heavily-fortified demilitarized zone separating the two countries.

The highly-anticipated summit, which comes after decades of missile tests and threats from the North, precedes a meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump expected to take place in May or June.