South Korean President Moon Jae In said Tuesday that “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula is the aim for next week’s historic summit with North Korea.
Moon will come face-to-face with North Korea's Kim Jong Un on April 27, when the leaders meet at Freedom House, on the southern side of the 38th parallel that divides the peninsula.
"The complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the most urgent task that lies before us and a task we must complete peacefully," Moon told a Buddhist service being held for the success of the upcoming summit.
Moon added that the ultimate goal of the talks was to "to bring down the wall between the South and the North and build a path to co-existence and joint development.”
“Separated families must be allowed to reunite, exchange greetings, and freely visit each other,” he said.
The president’s comments jibe with a report posted by South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo, which, citing an unnamed South Korean official, said North and South Korea would announce a peace treaty at the summit next week.
If a treaty is drawn up, it would bring to an end a war that has been officially running since 1953, when the two nations signed an armistice to bring an end to the Korean War.
In the weeks since the summit has been announced, officials from both sides have been working in the background to prepare for the summit, with the Munhwa Ilbo report suggesting this is when details of the peace treaty have been ironed out.
The report also suggests officials have been discussing the possibility of returning the demilitarized zone, which divided the two countries, back to its original state.
Besides the South Korea summit, Kim is also set to meet with U.S. president Donald Trump in late May or early June.
Moon said of the U.S.-North Korea summit: “A great transition that can create a new world order in the world history is beginning to take shape.”
Cover image: South Korea's President Moon Jae In is seen during a meeting with Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (not pictured) at the Government Office in Hanoi, Friday, March 23, 2018. (Kham/Pool Photo via AP)