North and South Korea Meet Again 💐

 Korea Summit Press Pool / Getty Images

Korea Summit Press Pool / Getty Images

Third time's the charm?

On Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met for the third time this year. The three-day summit in North Korea's capital will focus on dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapon base and improving inter-Korean business ties. Moon was greeted with a big hug from Kim and a North Korean parade filled with flowers

US-North Korea relations

The summit comes three months after Kim and Trump met in Singapore where North Korea agreed to denuclearize; however, satellite images prove otherwise. Consequently, the US and North Korea have clashed over the lack of progress. Given the strained US-NK relations, Moon has stepped up as the two nations’ “chief negotiator”.


SKEPTICAL:

Financial Times: A nuclear gamble on North Korea’s Chairman Kim

LA Times: Third inter-Korean summit is toughest challenge yet


Those who are skeptical believe the goals of the summit are too ambitious and risky. They argue that President Moon is naive to think that North Korea will give up its nuclear program. They also criticize South Korea’s approach to pressure the US to lift sanctions with the hopes that North Korea commences denuclearization, asserting that it undermines international safety and unity against an oppressive regime.

OPTIMISTIC:

Wall Street Journal: Koreas’ Talks Begin With Goodwill, if No Quick Results

NPR: Moon Jae-In Can Put U.S.-North Korea Negotiations Back On Track. Here's How

Those who are optimistic commend the summit for continued cooperation on the Korean peninsula. This side also sees Moon as taking a risk but believe US-SK coordination will pressure North Korea to denuclearize. Articles on this side point to North Korea’s acknowledgement that the Singapore summit created stability and reports of a second Trump-Kim summit as diplomatic breakthroughs.


What should we expect?

Increased communication between the Koreas is a strong signal towards stabilization in the region. Just last week, the nations set up a liaison office and have begun to plan economic integration. In addition, both nations have signalled desires for a peace treaty to officially end the Korean War. While denuclearization may not be immediate, this summit has symbolically linked the two Koreas after decades of contention.

North & South Korea

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