Background & Significance

Amidst a highly critical moment of conflict on on the Korean Peninsula, an opportunity for negotiation and dialogue opened across the region.
The announcement made by Director of National Security Chung Eui-yong after visiting Pyeongyang for two days caused quite a sensation and was much more than anyone expected.

by Director
Chung Eui-yong
(March 6, 2018)

  • 1

    South and North Korea reached an agreement to hold the 3rd Inter-Korean Summit in the Peace House at the truce village of Panmunjeom in late April. To this end, both sides agreed to proceed with working-level consultations in detail.

  • 2

    South and North Korea agreed to install a hotline between the two heads of state to defuse military tensions and facilitate close consultations. The first telephone conversation between the two leaders will take place prior to the 3rd Inter-Korean Summit.

  • 3

    The North made clear its commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and that it has no reason to possess nuclear weapons should military threats against the North be removed and the safety of its regime be guaranteed.

  • 4

    The North expressed its intent to engage in candid dialogue with the United States on the denuclearization and the normalization of Pyeongyang-Washington relations.

  • 5

    The North clearly stated that it would not resume any strategic provocation, including any additional nuclear test and ballistic missile test-launch, while engaged in dialogue. At the same time, the North vowed that not only nuclear weapons but also conventional weaponry would never be used against the South.

  • 6

    The North invited a taekwondo demonstration team and an art troupe of the South to Pyeongyang with a view to carrying on the amicable mood of reconciliation and cooperation between the two sides created for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The First Meeting of the Two Leaders in 11 Years and a New Beginning:
Significance of the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit

This summit to be held at the Peace House in Panmunjeom is a product ofthe unyielding efforts made by President Moon and the South Korean government and the complete support of the international community, including the US and other neighboring countries, to encourage the North to enter into dialogue amidst the escalating security crisis on the Korean Peninsula. It is the first meeting of the leaders of the South and North in 11 years since the second summit in 2007 following the first in 2000, and the North’s leader will be stepping onto the South Korean side of Panmunjeom for the first time. This summit will be prepared with a focus on assisting the two leaders to better concentrate on their talks.

From an Icon of Division to an Icon of Peace 
Originally, guards of the South, North, and United Nations were guaranteed free movement and access as befits Panmunjeom’s status as the Joint Security Area, but, after the axe murder incident in 1976, they were separated. The Military Demarcation Line is a row of concrete blocks, each measuring 5cm in height and 50cm in width, between the Freedom House and Panmungak. The Line emerged as a symbol of the tragedy of national division.

The world is once again watching Panmunjeom to see if it will be able to produce a bud of peace from the soil of the pain of division as the venue of the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit. 

The 2018 Inter-Korean Summit will serve as an opportunity to lay stepping stones towards denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and the advancement of inter-Korean relations. The significance of the summit also lies in bringing the leaders of the two Koreas together and providing the forum to engage in candid talks and build trust after years of deteriorating inter-Korean relations.

 In particular, this Inter-Korean Summit will be followed shortly by the US-North Korea summit. The two summits will provide a crucial opportunity to advance denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and promote the co-prosperity of the two Koreas. The successful staging of the two summits will be marked as a milestone for the peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and the establishment of the permanent peace aspired and supported by the international community.

 The South Korean government will keep this in mind and make thorough preparations to lay solid stepping stones for peace on the Korean Peninsula through the Inter-Korean Summit on April 27, 2018, in close collaboration with neighboring countries and the international community. 


Director of National Security Chung Eui-yong reports on March 6 the outcome of his Pyeongyang visit.

Agenda of the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit
Denuclearization, Establishment of Peace, and Advancement of Inter-Korean Relations

  • The South Korean government plans to deal with the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, and the advancement of inter-Korean relations through this summit. The three items will be discussed in a balanced and comprehensive manner. Measures to ensure a consistent implementation of the agreement between the South and North are also being examined.

    First, this summit is expected to reaffirm the North’s will for denuclearization and lay the foundation, upon which substantial progress can bemade regarding the peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue. The South Korean government remains dedicated to the successful staging of the two summits to encourage the North to make a strategic decision to denuclearize and take measures for denuclearization in earnest.

  • Second, this summit will deal with a variety of issues and measures regarding the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula including those aimed at easing military tension and building trust between the South and North.

    As for the sustained advancement of inter-Korean relations, the two sides will be discussing broad aspects of inter-Korean relations including dialogue, exchange and cooperation, and humanitarian support, while carrying on the legacies of the July 4th South-North Joint Statement; the Agreement on Reconciliation, Non-aggression, Exchanges, and Cooperation; the June 15th South-North Joint Declaration; and the October 4th Declaration. 

    The South Korean government will ensure that the first important step in recovering trust between the two Koreas and between the US and the North be taken effectively through this summit.