The Three Inter-Korean Summit Final Statements

(1) June 15, 2000 Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il Declaration:

The leaders of the South and the North, recognizing that the meeting and the summit talks were of great significance in promoting mutual understanding, developing South–North relations and realizing peaceful reunification, declared as follows:

  1. The South and the North have agreed to resolve the question of reunification independently and through the joint efforts of the Korean people, who are the masters of the country.
  2. For the achievement of reunification, we have agreed that there is a common element in the South’s concept of a confederation and the North’s formula for a loose form of federation. The South and the North agreed to promote reunification in that direction.
  3. The South and the North have agreed to promptly resolve humanitarian issues such as exchange visits by separated family members and relatives on the occasion of the August 15 National Liberation Day and the question of unswerving Communists serving prison sentences in the South.
  4. The South and the North have agreed to consolidate mutual trust by promoting balanced development of the national economy through economic cooperation and by stimulating cooperation and exchanges in civic, cultural, sports, health, environmental and all other fields.
  5. The South and the North have agreed to hold a dialogue between relevant authorities in the near future to implement the above agreements expeditiously.

President Kim Dae-jung cordially invited National Defence Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il to visit Seoul, and Chairman Kim Jong-il will visit Seoul at an appropriate time.

(2) 2007 Declaration on the Advancement of South-North Korean Relations, Peace and Prosperity In accordance with the agreement between President Roh Moo-hyun of the Republic of Korea and Chairman Kim Jong Il of the National Defense Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, President Roh visited Pyongyang from October 2-4, 2007. During the visit, there were historic meetings and discussions. At the meetings and talks, the two sides have reaffirmed the spirit of the June 15 Joint Declaration and had frank discussions on various issues related to realizing the
advancement of South-North relations, peace on the Korean Peninsula, common prosperity of the Korean people and unification of Korea. Expressing confidence that they can forge a new era of national prosperity and unification on their own initiative if they combine their will and capabilities, the two sides declare as follows, in order to expand and advance South-North relations based on
the June 15 Joint Declaration:
1. The South and the North shall uphold and endeavor actively to realize the June 15 Declaration. The South and the North have agreed to resolve the issue of unification on their own initiative and according to the spirit of “by-the-Korean-people-themselves.” The South and the North will work out ways to commemorate the June 15 anniversary of the announcement of the South-North Joint Declaration to reflect the common will to faithfully carry it out.
2. The South and the North have agreed to firmly transform inter-Korean relations into ties of mutual respect and trust, transcending the differences in ideology and systems. The South and the North have agreed not to interfere in the internal affairs of the other and agreed to resolve inter-Korean issues in the spirit of reconciliation, cooperation and reunification. The South and the North have agreed to overhaul their respective legislative and institutional apparatuses in a bid to develop inter-Korean relations in a reunification oriented
direction. The South and the North have agreed to proactively pursue dia logue and contacts in various areas, including the legislatures of the two Koreas, in order to resolve matters concerning the expansion and advancement of inter-Korean relations in a way that meets the aspirations of the entire Korean people.
3. The South and the North have agreed to closely work together to put an end to military hostilities, mitigate tensions and guarantee peace on the Korean Peninsula. The South and the North have agreed not to antagonize each other, reduce military tension, and resolve issues in dispute through dialogue and negotiation. The South and the North have agreed to oppose war on the Korean Peninsula and to adhere strictly to their obligation to nonaggression.
The South and the North have agreed to designate a joint fishing area in the West Sea to avoid accidental clashes. The South’s Minister of Defense and the North’s Minister of the People’s Armed Forces have also agreed to hold talks in Pyongyang this November to
discuss military confidence-building measures, including military guarantees covering the plans and various cooperative projects for making this joint fishing area into a peace area.
4. The South and the North both recognize the need to end the current armistice regime and build a permanent peace regime. The South and the North have also agreed to work together to advance the matter of having the leaders of the three or four parties directly
concerned to convene on the Peninsula and declare an end to the war. With regard to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, the South and the North have agreed to work together to implement smoothly the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement and the February 13, 2007 Agreement achieved at the Six-Party Talks.
5. The South and the North have agreed to facilitate, expand, and further develop inter-Korean economic cooperation projects on a continual basis for balanced economic development and co-prosperity on the Korean Peninsula in accordance with the principles of common interests, co-prosperity and mutual aid. The South and the North reached an agreement on promoting economic cooperation, including investments, pushing forward with the building of infrastructure and the development of natural resources. Given the special nature of inter-Korean cooperative projects, the South and the North have agreed to grant preferential conditions and benefits to those projects. The South and the North have agreed to create a “special peace and cooperation zone in the West Sea” encompassing Haeju and vicinity in a bid to proactively push ahead with the creation of a joint fishing zone and maritime peace zone, establishment of a special economic zone, utilization of Haeju harbor, passage of civilian vessels via direct routes in
Haeju and the joint use of the Han River estuary. The South and the North have agreed to complete the first-phase construction of the
Gaeseong Industrial Complex at an early date and embark on the second-stage development project. The South and the North have agreed to open freight rail services between Munsan and Bongdong and promptly complete various institutional measures, including those related to passage, communication, and customs clearance procedures. The South and the North have agreed to discuss repairs of the Gaeseong-Sinuiju railroad and the Gaeseong-Pyongyang expressway for their joint use. The South and the North have agreed to establish cooperative complexes for shipbuilding in Anbyeon and Nampo, while continuing cooperative projects in various areas such as agriculture, health and medical services and environmental protection. The South and the North have agreed to upgrade the status of the existing Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee to a Joint Committee for Inter-Korean
Economic Cooperation to be headed by deputy prime minister-level officials.
6. The South and the North have agreed to boost exchanges and cooperation in the social areas covering history, language, education, science and technology, culture and arts, and sports to highlight the long history and excellent culture of the Korean people. The South and the North have agreed to carry out tours to Mt. Baekdu and open nonstop flight services between Seoul and Mt. Baekdu for this purpose. The South and the North have agreed to send a joint cheering squad from both sides to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The squad will use the Gyeongui Railway Line for the first-ever joint Olympic cheering.
7. The South and the North have agreed to actively promote humanitarian cooperation projects. The South and the North have agreed to expand reunion of separated family members and their relatives and promote exchanges of video messages. To this end, the South and the North have agreed to station resident representatives from each side at the reunion center at Mt. Geumgang when it is completed and regularize reunions of separated family members and their relatives. The South and the North have agreed to actively cooperate in case of emergencies, including natural disasters, according to the principles of fraternal love, humanitarianism
and mutual assistance.
8. The South and the North have agreed to increase cooperation to promote the interests of the Korean people and the rights and interests of overseas Koreans on the international stage. The South and the North have agreed to hold inter-Korean prime ministers’ talks for the implementation of this Declaration and have agreed to hold the first round of meetings in November 2007 in Seoul. The South and the North have agreed that their highest authorities will meet frequently for the advancement of relations between the two sides.
Oct. 4, 2007
Roh Moo-hyun
Republic of Korea
Kim Jong Il
Chairman, National Defense Commission
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

(3) 2018 Panmunjeom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula

During this momentous period of historical transformation on the Korean Peninsula, reflecting the enduring aspiration of the Korean people for peace, prosperity and unification, President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea held an Inter-Korean Summit Meeting at the ‘Peace House’ at Panmunjeom on April 27, 2018.

The two leaders solemnly declared before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.

The two leaders, sharing the firm commitment to bring a swift end to the Cold War relic of longstanding division and confrontation, to boldly approach a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity, and to improve and cultivate inter-Korean relations in a more active manner, declared at this historic site of Panmunjeom as follows :

1. South and North Korea will reconnect the blood relations of the people and bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification led by Koreans by facilitating comprehensive and groundbreaking advancement in inter-Korean relations. Improving and cultivating inter-Korean relations is the prevalent desire of the whole nation and the urgent calling of the times that cannot be held back any further.

① South and North Korea affirmed the principle of determining the destiny of the Korean nation on their own accord and agreed to bring forth the watershed moment for the improvement of inter-Korean relations by fully implementing all existing agreements and declarations adopted between the two sides thus far.

② South and North Korea agreed to hold dialogue and negotiations in various fields including at high level, and to take active measures for the implementation of the agreements reached at the Summit.

③ South and North Korea agreed to establish a joint liaison office with resident representatives of both sides in the Gaeseong region in order to facilitate close consultation between the authorities as well as smooth exchanges and cooperation between the peoples.

④ South and North Korea agreed to encourage more active cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts at all levels in order to rejuvenate the sense of national reconciliation and unity. Between South and North, the two sides will encourage the atmosphere of amity and cooperation by actively staging various joint events on the dates that hold special meaning for both South and North Korea, such as June 15, in which participants from all levels, including central and local governments, parliaments, political parties, and civil organizations, will be involved. On the international front, the two sides agreed to demonstrate their collective wisdom, talents, and solidarity by jointly participating in international sports events such as the 2018 Asian Games.

⑤ South and North Korea agreed to endeavor to swiftly resolve the humanitarian issues that resulted from the division of the nation, and to convene the Inter-Korean Red Cross Meeting to discuss and solve various issues including the reunion of separated families. In this vein, South and North Korea agreed to proceed with reunion programs for the separated families on the occasion of the National Liberation Day of August 15 this year.

⑥ South and North Korea agreed to actively implement the projects previously agreed in the 2007 October 4 Declaration, in order to promote balanced economic growth and co-prosperity of the nation. As a first step, the two sides agreed to adopt practical steps towards the connection and modernization of the railways and roads on the eastern transportation corridor as well as between Seoul and Sinuiju for their utilization.

2. South and North Korea will make joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula. Alleviating the military tension and eliminating the danger of war is a highly significant challenge directly linked to the fate of the Korean people and also a vital task in guaranteeing their peaceful and stable lives.

① South and North Korea agreed to completely cease all hostile acts against each other in every domain, including land, air and sea, that are the source of military tension and conflict. In this vein, the two sides agreed to transform the demilitarized zone into a peace zone in a genuine sense by ceasing as of May 1 this year all hostile acts and eliminating their means, including broadcasting through loudspeakers and distribution of leaflets, in the areas along the Military Demarcation Line.

② South and North Korea agreed to devise a practical scheme to turn the areas around the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea into a maritime peace zone in order to prevent accidental military clashes and guarantee safe fishing activities.

③ South and North Korea agreed to take various military measures to ensure active mutual cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts. The two sides agreed to hold frequent meetings between military authorities, including the Defense Ministers Meeting, in order to immediately discuss and solve military issues that arise between them. In this regard, the two sides agreed to first convene military talks at the rank of general in May.

3. South and North Korea will actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. Bringing an end to the current unnatural state of armistice and establishing a robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula is a historical mission that must not be delayed any further.

① South and North Korea reaffirmed the Non-Aggression Agreement that precludes the use of force in any form against each other, and agreed to strictly adhere to this Agreement.

② South and North Korea agreed to carry out disarmament in a phased manner, as military tension is alleviated and substantial progress is made in military confidence-building.

③ During this year that marks the 65th anniversary of the Armistice, South and North Korea agreed to actively pursue trilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States, or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas, the United States and China with a view to declaring an end to the War, turning the armistice into a peace treaty, and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime.

④ South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. South and North Korea shared the view that the measures being initiated by North Korea are very meaningful and crucial for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and agreed to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities in this regard. South and North Korea agreed to actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders agreed, through regular meetings and direct telephone conversations, to hold frequent and candid discussions on issues vital to the nation, to strengthen mutual trust and to jointly endeavor to strengthen the positive momentum towards continuous advancement of inter-Korean relations as well as peace, prosperity and unification of the Korean Peninsula.

In this context, President Moon Jae-in agreed to visit Pyongyang this fall.

April 27, 2018
Done in Panmunjeom

Moon Jae-in Kim Jong Un
President Chairman
Republic of Korea State Affairs Commission
Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea



    1. They did! And that could become a problem for Trump if he decides not to follow the South Koreans’ lead on a peace and denuclearization deal. Stay tuned.

  1. Very interesting—and timely. Are we to assume that the 2018 Declaration will have the same impact as the 2000 and 2007 Declarations? I have not seen these two earlier Declarations mentioned. Why? Can Trump, seeking a Big Win, make any difference? I haven’t looked at the details: is 2018 any difference from the others? Some analysis, please.

    * Mike

    1. See upcoming blog on the inter-Korean summit and various analysts’ critiques. The 3 declarations are similar in tone and content–all focusing on national unification, Korean self-determination, the importance of all kinds of North-South exchanges, and peace through dialogue and military threat reduction. But the non-Korean press rarely mentions the earlier documents, seemingly dismissing them–like today’s so-called experts–as mere rhetoric and warning of how untrustworthy are the North Koreans. But the central issue today is how, in a changed strategic and economic environment , the good intentions of the Panmunjom Declaration might actually be translated into a sustainable peace. That question includes the intentions of the Trump administration: Will it follow the Koreans’ lead and accept the idea of an engagement process, or will it insist on immediate and complete North Korean denuclearization?

  2. Mel,

    Thanks very much showing us North & South Korean intentions and actions have a consistency that suggests deception is not the motivating factor in their several major peaceful dialogs this century. Contrasting with the cheering, quite startling news from this historic Panmunjeom summit is Jennifer Rubin’s skeptical tone in today’s Washington Post. Her hawkish op-ed piece “Trump has already been ‘played'” is nothing if not cynical about any chances for detente Her belief that Trump (and the USA) are fools to buy into the package of commitments you list for our comparison reflects the concerns of many countries (Israel, for example, Japan, for another) about any peace moves with North Korea–or Iran, Syria, Russia, etc. I must admit I think the two key principals in this situation, Trump and Kim Jong-un, have got to be, based on their egregious personal records of leadership, among the most egoistic, unprincipled and untrustworthy individuals on the planet. But your post today, indeed, all of your on-going urgent rallying cries for sustained rapprochement, continue to be vitally important reminders that a peaceful world is only possible if politicians take positive and repetitive (i.e., Korea 2000, 2007, 2018) steps towards diligent resolution of nuclear weapons-tinged tension. And now, /maybe/, a valid effort is being made that extends beyond back-room banter. Strikingly significant is the fact Chinese leadership was consulted or at the very least acknowledged /in advance/ as essential to the current moves towards detente Complementing that first-of-a-kind move by Kim Jong-un has been preparatory talks with Washington, as mentioned repeatedly by various news sources. All the internal machinations leading up to and driving dialog in the current summit in Korea are hidden from us, but we can be sure all parties in both the region and the larger world want meaningful discussion. Whether or not it ends up in true detente and nuclear disarmament on the Peninsula, time will tell.

    -Joe, Chengdu

    1. I, too, was put off by Jennifer Rubin’s surprisingly hawkish op-ed. She joins others–see my next blog–who are throwing cold water on the inter-Korean summit and on US engagement with N. Korea generally. Reminds me of the old “you can’t trust the communists” line. Granted, the 3 summit declarations are aspirational; but they provide a direction that most Koreans share. And as Kim Jong-un said the other day, achieving common goals depends on a trust-building process.

  3. Mel, Super idea to print out the previous agreements, to compare them with the current one. Among other benefits, it raises so directly the question about why the previous ones failed.

    Best, Pete

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