Inter-Korean Summit

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Inter-Korean Summit
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 남북정상회담
Hancha 南北頂上會談
North Korean name
Hangul 북남수뇌상봉
Hanja 北南首腦相逢

Inter-Korean Summits (In North Korea: 북남수뇌상봉 "North-South Leader Meeting"; in South Korea: 남북정상회담 "South-North Summit Talks") are meetings between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea. There have been two major meetings, the first in 2000 and the second in 2007. The importance of these summits lies in the lack of formal communication between North and South Korea, which makes discussing political and economic issues difficult. The summits' agendas have included topics such as the ending of the 1953 war (currently there is an armistice in force), the massive deployment of troops at the DMZ (approximately two million in total),[1] the development of nuclear weapons by North Korea and human rights issues.

The first Summit was held June 13–15, 2000, in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader, met with Kim Dae-jung, the South Korean President at the time, who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts as this summit occurred seemingly as a result of his Sunshine Policy, which South Korea maintained until President Lee Myung Bak adopted a more hardline position against North Korea. However, it was later discovered that South Korea had secretly paid the North Korean Government $200 million to attend, which resulted in the cash-for-summit scandal of 2003, in which 6 South Korean businessmen and officials were convicted.[2]

The second Summit was held October 2–4, 2007, also in Pyongyang, between Kim Jong-il and Roh Moo-hyun, at the time President of the Republic of Korea. This summit occurred in light of the recent partially successful detonation of a nuclear device by North Korea, the development of which violated a range of guarantees, given in exchange for aid, that North Korea would cease nuclear weapon development. This summit probably occurred due to concerted political and economic pressure from a number of major states (such as the United States, South Korea, and Japan) and in particular from China, which is the nearest state North Korea has as an ally, and which provides North Korea with the oil and food supplies that keep the country from totally collapsing.

First Summit (June 13–15, 2000)

In accordance with the North-South Joint Declaration arising from the first Inter-Korean summit, the North-South ministerial and military working-level talks were held four times in Pyongyang, Seoul and Jeju Island from July to December 2000. These also involved North-South Red Cross talks (three times) and several working-level contacts for North and South economic cooperation, continuing until March 2007. Kim Dae Jung, the South Korean president at the time, received the Nobel Peace Prize for successfully arranging the summit.

However, the South Korean Government paid North Korea approximately 200 million USD to attend the Summit.[2] This payment was kept secret at the time and only emerged three years later, causing a major political scandal called the Cash-for-summit scandal.

In August 2000, after over 50 years of separation, some members of separated families and relatives in the North and South had a reunification meeting with each other in Pyongyang and Seoul. Subsequent Inter-Korean summit talks were held and the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration was adopted.

Second Summit (October 2–4, 2007)

The June 15th North–South Joint Declaration that the two leaders signed during the first South-North summit stated that they would hold the second summit at an appropriate time. It was originally thought in 2000 that the second summit would be held in South Korea, but that did not prove to be the case in 2007.

On October 2, 2007, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun walked across the Korean Demilitarized Zone in travelling to Pyongyang for talks with Kim Jong-il. During the visit, there was a series of meetings and discussions between the leaders.[3][4][5][6]

At the meetings and talks, the two sides reaffirmed the spirit of the June 15 Joint Declaration and had 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. On October 4, 2007, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il signed the peace declaration. The document called for international talks to replace the armistice which ended the Korean War with a permanent peace treaty.[7]


Kim Jong-il gave his presidential guest Roh Moo-hyun four tonnes of prized songi (matsutake mushrooms) worth up to $2.6 million USD at their summit. A kilogram of these mushrooms, which is a Korean delicacy, can sell for as much as 600,000 won (USD $656) in South Korean stores. Kim Jong-il had 500 boxes of the mushrooms trucked to the border for President Roh to take back after their three-day summit. This was similar to the first summit when Kim Jong-il gave South Korea's then-president Kim Dae-jung three tonnes of the same mushrooms.

Roh Moo-hyun had first given Kim Jong-il a collection of South Korean films and television dramas which included his favorite actress Elizabeth Taylor, normally banned in the North, as well as a painted folding screen and a fine tea set.[8]

Peace declaration (eight-point agreement)

  1. South and North Korea are to implement the June 15 Joint Declaration
  2. South and North Korea are to work for mutual respect and trust in order to overcome differences in ideology, system.
  3. South and North Korea are to ease military tensions, hold defense ministerial talks in November in Pyongyang to discuss ways of supporting inter-Korean economic cooperation and easing tension.
  4. The two sides agree on the need to end the current armistice and establish permanent peace.
  5. The two sides are to create a special peace zone around Haeju in North Korea and nearby areas.[9]
  6. South and North Korea are to develop cooperation in the history, language, education, technology, culture, sports, and social sectors.
  7. South and North Korea are to actively push for humanitarian cooperation and expansion of the reunions of separated families.
  8. South and North Korea are to strengthen cooperation for national interest in the international stage and the benefits of Korean residents abroad.

Uncertain South Korean transcript

A transcript of the summit talks was not placed in the South Korean national archives, which led to later disputes about exactly was said in discussions. In June 2013, to resolve a dispute, the National Intelligence Service stated its copy of the final transcript recorded that President Roh had said "I agree with [leader Kim Jong-il] that the Northern Limit Line should be changed."[10]

See also

Press releases


  1. "Kim's War Machine". Time. 2003-02-24. Retrieved 2007-11-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "South Korea convicts six over summit". BBC. 2003-09-26. Retrieved 2013-04-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Korean leaders in historic talks, BBC, Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 10:14 GMT
  4. In pictures: Historic crossing, BBC, 2 October 2007, 10:15 GMT
  5. Mixed feelings over Koreas summit, BBC, 2 October 2007, 10:17 GMT
  6. Kim greets Roh in Pyongyang before historic summit, CNN, accessed 2 October 2007
  7. Korean leaders issue peace call, BBC, 4 October 2007, 9:27 GMT
  8. Kim thanks Roh with million-dollar mushrooms, The Age, 5 October 2007, 6:51 GMT
  9. Jon Van Dyke (July 29, 2010). "The Maritime boundary between North & South Korea in the Yellow (West) Sea". 38 North. U.S.-Korea Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Retrieved 28 November 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Ex-officials acquitted of destroying inter-Korean summit transcript". The Korea Herald. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


External links