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North and South meeting Swiss hail Koreas historic summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in raise their hands after signing a joint statement

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in raise their hands after signing a joint statement at the border village of Panmunjom

(Keystone)

Switzerland recognises the “historic nature” of the meeting between North and South Korea and welcomes the efforts at reconciliation, the foreign affairs ministry has said.

It made the comments after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in pledged on Friday to work for the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula," punctuating a day of smiles and handshakes at the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade.

The two Koreas announced they would work with the United States and China this year to declare an official end to the 1950s Korean war and seek an agreement to establish "permanent" and "solid" peace in its place.

Switzerland said in a statementexternal link on Friday that it welcomed in particular the efforts of the two leaders for a “lasting peace on a denuclearised Korean peninsula”.

The Swiss president Alain Berset also added his voice in this Twitter posting.

berset

Tweet from Berset

The Swiss statement added that Switzerland had been in the village of Panmunjom since 1953 as part of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) and had therefore been committed for a long time to promoting peace and dialogue on the peninsula.

+ Find out more about this work at the border of South and North Korea

Switzerland is convinced that a solution to the nuclear and security concerns can only be found within the framework of an inclusive diplomatic process, the statement continued.

This is why the foreign ministry encouraged parties to continue dialogue in the same “constructive spirit” as they had committed to do at Friday’s meeting and as is envisaged for the potential summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

“As in other regions of the world where there are tensions, Switzerland is always ready to offer its good offices or to facilitate contacts between parties concerned if they so wish,” concluded the statement.

The US ambassador to Switzerland Edward “Ed” McMullen told reporters in Geneva on Thursday that Switzerland’s long-standing offer of good offices for the potential US-North Korea meeting was “serious” and “a good opportunity”.

+ Read more about the Swiss offer hereexternal link

Reuters/Swiss ministry of foreign affairs/ilj

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