A Miracle in a Day: The Moon-kim Summit and Prospects for Peace in Korea
The summit gave wings to frayed efforts to denuclearize North Korea, but the challenges ahead remain fraught.
What a difference 12 hours can make. The summit between the leaders of North and South Korea in the village of Panmunjom on April 27 appears to have radically altered the dynamics of efforts to denuclearize North Korea and bring peace to the Korean Peninsula.
It also laid the foundations for the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Chairman Kim
Jong Un in Singapore on June
12. But the challenges ahead are fraught with difficulties that will require deft diplomacy, writes Chung-in Moon.1 The RENOWNED south Korean novelist han Gang contributed a moving column to the New York Times on Oct. 7, 2017, entitled “While the us Talks of War, south Korea shudders.” her choice of words aptly reflected the sentiments of many south Koreans. During the course of that year, south Korea’s somber geopolitical reality seemed to be marked by a never-ending sequence of crises — there was a “crisis of april,” a “crisis of august” and a “crisis of October,” all triggered by North Korean provocations or us belligerence. Foreign correspondents rushed to seoul to report on the potential escalation of military conflict on the Korean Peninsula, and news on North Korea was the lead item on broadcasts in the us night after night. Foreigners might have enjoyed watching the thrill and suspense of such news reports, but south Koreans shuddered and preferred to block out the darkening reality.
Indeed, the Korean Peninsula was back at the crossroads of war and peace. We had not stood this close to a point of no return since the signing of the Korean armistice agreement in July 1953. Kim Jong un’s reckless military provocations, Donald Trump’s offensive rhetoric and military maneuvers, China’s harsh position over the deployment of the Terminal high altitude area Defense (Thaad) anti-missile system in south Korea and sharp domestic polarization in south Korea trapped newly inaugurated President Moon Jae-in in a security dilemma with grave implications. however, the inter-korean summit that was held in Panmunjom on april 27 — only