Leaders of the two Koreas ended their summit Thursday with a joint pledge to seek talks with China and the United States aimed at formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War.
They also announced that they would set up a "peace zone" around a much-disputed border in the Yellow Sea that is rich with fish and where skirmishes between the countries have broken out over the past several decades.
The summit also produced a promise that a rail line would open up between North and South. There is now no open road or rail connection between the two countries.
"This is a big triumph for South Korea," said Koh Yu Hwan, professor of political science at Dongguk University in Seoul. The South's president, Roh Moo Hyun, "discussed most of the issues he wanted to discuss, and this declaration will transform the Koreas into a postwar peace footing."
This occurs at the same time that six-party talks appear to finally be producing a substantive approach to denuclearizing North Korea. Things are looking up and there may finally be a chance for real peace for the first time since 1950.