Korean leaders meet at border, will sign treaty to formally end war

In an electric moment, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stepped over the heavily fortified demilitarized zone to shake hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Reuters reported Friday.

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Later, both leaders said they would sign a peace treaty this year to formally end the Korean War, CNN reported.

The document, formally called the “Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula,” was announced after a day of meetings and a 30-minute private conversation between the two leaders. 

“The two leaders solemnly declare ... that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and a new era of peace has begun,” the declaration said. 

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“There will not be any more war on the Korean Peninsula, a new era of peace has begun," Moon said. “Chairman Kim Jong Un and I have agreed that complete denuclearization will be achieved, and that is our common goal.”

Smiling and holding hands, the Korean leaders met for the first summit between the two nations in more than a decade. 

It’s the first time since the Korean War ended in 1953 that a leader of North Korea has crossed into the southern section of the DMZ, news outlets reported. Kim then invited Moon to step over the border into North Korea, CNN reported.

>> Historic summit focuses on denuclearization

The two men met at the DMZ, smiling and walking together, which was in stark contrast to last year’s missile tests by North Korea that led to international sanctions, Reuters reported.

“We are at a starting line today, where a new history of peace, prosperity and inter-Korean relations is being written,” Kim said before the two Korean leaders and top aides began talks at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

During their private meeting, Kim told Moon he came to the summit to end the history of conflict and joked he was sorry for keeping Moon up with his late night missile tests, a South Korean official told Reuters.

Kim told Moon he would be willing to visit the presidential Blue House in Seoul, and wanted to meet “more often” in the future, the official said.

Stepping over the border was an impromptu decision by both sides, a spokesman for Moon told CNN.

President Donald Trump tweeted early Friday that “The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!”

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