29 April 2018
Hopes for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula are greater than ever following Friday’s historic inter-Korean summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Some Koreans say they were highly impressed by Kim’s sincere attitude. Others are already talking about unification.
However, international experts have given a mixed response to the first inter-Korean summit in a decade, saying it is too early to let guards down just because of the amicable atmosphere the talks created.
Liang Tuang Nah, a Singapore-based specialist on nuclear weapons politics and North Korean affairs, said what was significant was Kim’s willingness to meet Moon on the South’s soil.
“Given the strong nationalist self-image of the North’s leadership, I had assumed that it was more likely that Kim would have wanted Moon to travel to Pyongyang for their first meeting as an acknowledgement of the former’s status,” he said.
“That the summit was actually held at Panmunjeom could have been Kim’s attempt to signal that he is willing to set aside North Korean hubris and project the image of a respectable national leader.”
Nah, a research fellow at the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies at RSIS in Singapore, said the spirit of national reconciliation evident in the declaration is arguably the same as the sentiments shared by Seoul and Pyongyang during earlier summits.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 30/04/2018