The leaders of North and South Korea agreed to pursue a peace agreement in historic talks on Friday, but steered clear of specifics on the question of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons, leaving uncertainties about the regime’s willingness to cede ground on its arsenal ahead of a meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.
After an 8½-hour meeting in the demilitarized zone that was heavy on shows of amity between Mr. Kim and Moon Jae-in, his South Korean counterpart, both men agreed to take steps to dial down tensions and start talks with the U.S., and perhaps China, aimed at declaring within the year a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War. The conflict ended in an armistice that has held, despite some skirmishes, for 65 years.
The joint statement, called the Panmunjom Declaration, also calls for restarting reunions of families separated by the Korean War, and the establishment of an inter-Korean liaison office on the northern side. As part of the pact, Mr. Moon will travel to Pyongyang in the fall for a summit meeting.
In one surreal moment in a day replete with symbolism, Messrs. Kim and Moon abandoned their aides and strolled side by side to a park bench on a footbridge, where they conversed for more than half an hour—as cameras captured the moment for a rapt South Korean audience.
“We will work towards preventing another horrible war,” Mr. Kim said after signing the joint declaration. “With one language, one culture and one history, North and…