Days before Friday’s summit meeting between President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, the South switched off the broadcast temporarily as a good-will gesture. During their meeting, Mr. Moon and Mr. Kim adopted a broad declaration aimed at improving inter-Korean ties, including a mutual vow to “completely cease all hostile acts against each other,” including loudspeaker propaganda along the border.
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Although it was not included in the official summit agreement, the North’s decision to abolish Pyongyang Time, named after its capital, was made personally by Mr. Kim, South Korean officials said.
“I don’t understand why they keep creating things that would perpetuate the division,” Mr. Kim said on Friday, according to a South Korean government spokeswoman, Koh Min-jeong, referring to the North’s 2015 decision to create a new time zone. “We must try instead to unify.”
“It took me only a few yards of walking to reach South Korea today, but I am in a different time zone,” Mr. Kim added. “This is nonsense.”
Mr. Kim stressed the importance of implementing the summit meeting’s agreements, South Korean officials said. The most important decision the two leaders reached on Friday was the recognition of “complete denuclearization” as a common goal, and a pledge to create conditions that would lead to “a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”
Skeptics, however, doubt that Mr. Kim will truly dismantle all of his nuclear weapons.
On Sunday, the South Korean government said Mr. Kim had told Mr. Moon that he would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States agreed to formally end the Korean War and promise not to invade his country.