Third summit points to peace

The third summit between Korean leaders Moon Jae In and Kim Jong Un ended on Sept. 20 and with it came a new collection of promises from both parties.

“We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat,” Kim said at the summit. “The road to our future will not always be smooth and we may face challenges and trials we can’t anticipate. But we aren’t afraid of head winds because our strength will grow as we overcome each trial based on the strength of our nation.”

The recent set of Korean summits started in April and, until now, there hadn’t been an inter-Korean summit since May. There were, however, two summits before this round in the 2000’s that were both unsuccessful and didn’t lead to more discussion.

“I am more hopeful this time,” said Associate Professor of History Zhihong Chen. “I know that there were earlier summits, but back then North Korea was in the process of trying to become a Nuclear Power, now the situation has changed, and I think the North Korean leaders feel more secure, it’s a better condition to make steps towards a reconciled Korea.”

The most significant outcome of the Korean summit was that Kim revealed his plans to close a missile test facility. Denuclearization continues to be a significant part of the Korean talks and any progress is highlighted.

“Nuclear threats from North Korea has been a problem my whole life and being able to finally see progress in denuclearization is surreal,” said Early College Student Rohan Akki.

Another noteworthy result was that the Korean leaders signed a document that said the countries would, “cease all hostile acts against each other.” Even though an armistice was reached during the Korean War, violence between the countries has remained commonplace. This was a major blockade in improving Korean relations and progress is expected to stem from the accord.

“The era of no war has started,” said Moon according to CNN. “Today the North and South decided to remove all threats that can cause war from the entire Korean peninsula.”

Along with the major results came decisions that were smaller, but still important. The Koreas plan to submit a joint bid to host the 2032 Olympics and want to create an international railroad between the two countries. There are also plans for eleven guard posts to be removed from the demilitarized zone.

“Kim Jong Un has agreed to allow Nuclear inspections, subject to final negotiations, and to permanently dismantle a test site and launch pad in the presence of international experts,” said President Donald Trump in a tweet.

Although North Korea is willing to compromise in terms of its nuclear arsenal, this doesn’t mean that Kim will do so without seeing some efforts from the US. While Kim hasn’t specified what he wants from the U.S., he has made it clear that will be a price for the US to pay. Whether or not denuclearization pans out may be up to the U.S..

“The U.S. could make or break this deal,” said Early College student Robert Kobrin. “Our cooperation might decide whether or not this works out.”

The seeds have already been planted for another inter-Korean summit as Kim said he was planning on traveling to Seoul as soon as possible. The world is watching as the long-rivaled Koreas are attempting to make peace with one another and only time will tell the results of these efforts.