Both South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stepped over the border into the other’s territory, held each other’s hand, and committed to regular meetings and direct telephone conversations.
To be sure, this is not the first time such a summit took place since North Korea and South Korea ended their war in an armistice in 1953. There were earlier attempts, specifically in 2002 and 2007, with similar promises and displays of affection between North and South.
Eventually, however, conflict continued.
The meeting between the two leaders precede a meeting between Kim and United States President Donald Trump. The two exchanged threats and insults over the past few months as Kim had continued with nuclear buildup and missile tests. There were testy moments when it could have been argued the world was on the brink of war. Then again, Kim and Trump, both loose with their words, could have only been bluffing.
For peace to move forward this time around, some things have to change.
It is not known yet whether the youth of the current North Korean leader, or the more pronounced involvement of the United States, or even just the passage of time itself are factors that could spell a difference.
Moon was realistic enough to say, a few weeks ago, that the devil was in the details. If peace were this easy, after all, the historic handshake would have taken place many years ago and would have been sustained. Certainly there are critical issues to resolve between the two nations, and all of those would take harder work than one symbolic meeting and a great photo opportunity.
Nonetheless the gestures are heartening, and provides at the very least some hope that countries could look at their similarities more than their differences.
The rest of the world watches with bated breath. Life is hard enough as it is without the constant threat of war. /posted April 29, 2018 at 12:40 am byManila Standard
ASEANEWS EDITORIAL CARTOONS:.
7.1. Sereno gets complicated – The Daily Tribune
7.2 More gov’t programs on wages, prices, & jobs – The Manila Bulletin
7.3. Crossing over – The Manila Standard
7.5. Metaphor for gov’t housing projects – The Philippine Daily Inquirer
7. Kandidatong nasa ‘drug-lists’ ihayag na – Pilipino Star Ngayon – -Boracay
Three handshakes and a looming clap of thunder – For The Straits Times
Bhagyashree Garekar – Deputy Foreign Editor – For The Straits Times
VEERA PRATEEPCHAIKUL FORMER EDITOR
– The Bangkok Post