Two years since North Korea and South Korea signed the Pyongyang Joint Declaration on 19 September, which focused on diffusing military tensions between the two countries, among other issues, Seoul and Pyongyang have found themselves in a diplomatic deadlock with no progress in denuclearisation talks between North Korea and the US. At Panmunjom, on the border between the two countries, South Korea’s Unification minister Lee In-young urged North Korea to abide by the 2018 agreement.

What is the Pyongyang Joint Declaration?
  1. The Pyongyang Joint Declaration is an agreement signed by North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in on September 18, 2018 during the Inter-Korean Summit Meeting in Pyongyang
  2. Some, although not all, long-standing issues between the two countries were addressed in this agreement. 
  3. The two sides agreed to implement the Panmunjeom Declaration that had been signed in April that year and agreed to closer communication to prevent military clashes along the DMZ.
  4. Economic cooperation was also a part of the agenda, with both countries agreeing to normalize the Gaeseong industrial complex located near the border and the Mt. Geumgang Tourism Project, located in North Korean territory, involved creating a special joint tourism zone. 
  5. The two countries also agreed on cooperation in the field of public health care, particularly in context of epidemics and the implementation of emergency measures to prevent and control the spread of contagious diseases.
  6. At the time of the agreement, the two countries had also agreed to promote cultural exchanges and cooperation and had agreed to actively participate together in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and other international games
  7. There were also plans to bid for the two to jointly host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games.
  8. The agreement also focussed on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula with North Korea agreeing to permanently dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site and launch platform.