Commentary by South Korean Organizations on the Third Panmunjom North Korea-United States Summit

On June 30, 2019, the eyes and ears of the world have been turned into Panmunjom, the symbol of the division of the Korean Peninsula. It is the first time in 66 years that the President of the South Korea and the President of the United States visited Panmunjom together. In addition, President Trump traveled across the border with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to take pictures together, and came down to the South again for talks at Freedom House. It is a world historical event shown to the whole world that Panmunjom is being transformed from the field of division and conflict to the field of peace.

At the Panmunjom, President Moon Jae-in, Chairman Kim Jong Un, and President Trump together made a handshake for peace. It is the first meeting of the South-North-US leaders since the division, and we women strongly welcome and support the progress for peace through the historical meeting of Panmunjom that integrates inter-Korean and North Korea-US relations.

We welcome the third meeting and talks between the Chairman Kim Jong Un and the President Trump. On June 12 last year in Singapore, the two leaders agreed to end their long hostile relationship and move to a new relationship. At the second Hanoi North Korea-US Summit, the denuclearization negotiations ended without much success, but at the third summit of Panmunjom yesterday, the two leaders agreed to resume denuclearization negotiations through working-level talks.

In order to achieve permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, common trust should be established between two Koreas and between the North Korea and US. We believe that this trust building will achieve tangible results when progressive and simultaneous denuclearization negotiations between the North Korea and the US and the development of inter-Korean relations are both attained in a virtuous cycle. In particular, the expansion of socio-cultural exchanges for a lessening of military tension, reciprocal economic cooperation, and people to people encounters is essential for the sustained development of the North Korea-US denuclearization negotiations in which mutual trust is a prerequisite

In this sense, inter-Korean women’s exchanges and cooperation for sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula is more necessary than ever. The inter-Korean authorities should support the resumption of inter-Korean women’s exchanges to involve women who want to actively participate in the peace process on the Korean peninsula. In this historic period of long transition from division and conflict to peace, inter-Korean women will make various efforts to implement the Panmunjom Declaration on Peace, Prosperity and Reunification on the Korean Peninsula.

July 1, 2019

Kyungnam Women’s Association United (WAU), Gwangju WAU, Daegu Women’s Association, Busan WAU, National Solidarity against Sexual Exploitation of Women, Suwon Women’s Association, Korea Women’s Political Solidarity, Women Making Peace, Pohang Women’s Association, Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center, Korean Women’s Association United, Korea Women’s Hot Line