WorldNovember 2018International NewsAsia

North-South Korean Peace Talks

Tien Phan

Staff Writer

In a crucial and historical time, the stage is set for the two leaders from North Korea and South Korea to meet at a summit that could bring permanent peace and security to the Korean Peninsula after decades of serious tensions. Furthermore, a joint statement regarding the “denuclearization” issue is also on the negotiation table, reports the Economist.

The two Koreans have been divided into respective spheres under two different influences along the 38th parallel borderline. The North is influenced by a communist ideology from the former Soviet Union, whereas the South is influenced by a democratic ideology from the United States after the breakout of the Korean War (1950-1953). Since the breakout of the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, there has been no formal meetings to reach a peace agreement from either side.

Surprisingly, current North Korea leader Kim Jong-un has expressed willingness to meet with senior South Korean government officials for the first time in history as both sides want to emphasize easing the tension between the border and pursuing reunification, reports CNBC.

Despite the fact that relations between North Korea and South Korea have warmed since the Winter Olympic Games, which took place earlier this year in South Korea, this attempt to mend the relations between the two states is still regarded as a shocking move from the North Korean side.

Many parties have tried to achieve peace agreements and denuclearization with North Korea for years, the highlight being the six-party talks between the United States, North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, and Russia, which proved to be non-effective, according to the Time.

The Economist also reports that even though the summit will likely disappoint, it will have “de facto” positive aspects. Both sides of the peninsula will refocus their short-term goals such as human rights or future bilateral talks.

Last week, news of the secret meeting between Mike Pompeo, CIA director, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un emerged. In an unexpected gesture from the United States, President Donald Trump praised the relationship formed during the secret trip in an attempt to prepare for the Korea summit that will take place on Friday, April 27. This might also be an attempt to prepare for the subsequent meeting between North Korea and the United States in June, or earlier depending on the relation between the two parties, reported BBC.

Furthermore, the effect of this summit will not only be felt by North and South Korea, it will ultimately have consequences on the big players who have been involved in the peace talks for many years. China sees themselves as having little to no role to play in these summits between the Koreas and the United States.

However, according to the New York Times, many Chinese experts fear that with these talks, the peace effort will not only bring the “Hermit Kingdom” closer to its long-time enemies, but it will also make North Korea less dependent on China for trade and security. In a simple term, China could lose its influence on the country and the region of East Asia.

As for Russia and Japan, despite their cautious approach to the region, they still have their own respective interests regarding the summit. Axios reports Russia wants to be taken seriously, as they regain their status as a world superpower. Japan will mainly focus on human rights issues and the push for denuclearization of the North Korean state.

While every issues is still to be discussed, the possibility of a safer region and world is probable. The two-Korea summit will take place in the Peace House, on the border between North and South Korea on April 27.

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