On April 27, South Korea and North Korea were able to take a step closer to peace by having an inter-Korean summit for the first time in 11 years. Surprisingly, at the summit, the two leaders agreed to convert the ceasefire agreement into a peace treaty on the Korean peninsula. The summit is the third inter-Korean summit, beginning in 2000 with President Kim Dae-Jung and seven years later with President Roh Moo-Hyun, and now Moon Jae-In. The 2018 inter-Korean summit was held at the Panmunjom Peace House, and it is noteworthy that the North has proposed to hold talks for the the first time. Also, the previous two summit talks were held in North Korea but, this time, the talks were held for the first time in the South. Therefore, the summit could be broadcasted live around the world with Kim Jeong-Eun personally coming over to the South’s territory.
The two leaders shook hands as soon as they saw each other. An ordinary handshake may seem nothing special, but watching President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jung Eun's shaking hands was a moving moment for the entire Korean peninsula. President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jeong-Eun crossed the military demarcation lines in Panmunjom to North Korea and South Korea in turn, holding hands. This is probably President Moon-Jae-in’s idea to show the world that crosssing each other’s territory is not a big deal but simply an attitude of mind. The inter-Korean summit was held in the laughter of the two leaders, who held hands and embraced for the peace of the divided nation. Kim Jeong-Eun brought Pyongyang cold noodles directly from Pyongyang for President Moon Jae-In, and President Moon Jae-In suggested that he stay for another day in South Korea which was similar to when President Roh Moo-hyun visited Pyongyang at the previous inter-Korean summit.
In this year’s inter-Korean summit meeting, the government and people were most interested in the denuclearization of North Korea. South Korea and North Korea began a war on June 25, 1950 which lasted untill July 27, 1953; lasting over three years. Ever since, the two nations were divided for 65 years. During the armistice, the South Koreans had to live in anxiety due to a number of provocations and nuclear experiments by North Korea. However, President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jeong-eun declared complete peace on the Korean Peninsula at this summit. They informed the world that there would be no hostile actions such as nuclear development or provocations in the Korean peninsula Now, Korea is to be a real peace zone. Furthermore, the complete denuclearization of North Korea seems to bring peace to the Korean peninsula.
Nine out of ten South Koreans said the inter-Korean summit was a good thing and gave positive comments regarding the meeting. Citizens highly appreciated factors such as resuming inter-Korean dialogue, improving relations, and working towards denuclearization. On the other hand, only 68% expected that North Korea would keep its promises, leaving the rest to think that North Korea will break its promises.
“The 2018 inter-Korean summit seems to be more meaningful because I couldn’t imagine seeing the two nations having talks a few months ago. While watching the declaration at the Panmunjom, it was heartbreaking to see the reality of the two nations using the same language, living apart. In this inter-Korean summit, I noticed that there is some hope from Kim Jeong-Eun, who seemed to have a positive attitude towards peace. But we should still be careful until the North Korea-U.S.A summit is finished successfully since we have experienced the last two failures. Therefore, the Korean government should not miss this opportunity and keep it going to lead this to a permanent ceasefire. I hope there will be no more pain in the Korean peninsula, only peace and love.", said Park Dae-woong (Material Science & Engineering Student).
If the exchanges between South Korea and North Korea continues to be maintained, the road to permanent ceasefire will not be long. These briskly active exchanges between South Korea and North Korea have not been seen for a long time, but it really makes us feel like spring blossoms are occurring in the Korean peninsula.
|▲The Inter-Korean summit was held in the laughter of the two leaders, who held hands and embraced for the peace of the divided nation.|
Jeong Seung-In, reporter email@example.com
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