This week, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un became the first leader of his country to set foot south of the border since the Korean War.
With the highly anticipated meeting between Kim and president Trump just weeks away, it would appear that the North Korean dictator is willing to give peace a chance.
Months ago this meeting between the North and South seemed inconceivable. Between all of the nuclear testing and missile launches, it seemed that the Korean peninsula was destined for war. Now, it seems as though Kim and South Korean president Moon Jae-in are trying to work together for the greater good of the region.
Upon shaking hands, and stepping into both the North and the South for photos, the two leaders spoke about their nations’ fractured history, and previous attempts of diplomacy falling apart.
This time, the world hopes things will be different.
After the talks had ended, Kim stepped up to the podium and declared that the North and South are “linked by blood as a family and compatriots who cannot live separately”. The leaders then stated they were committed to “a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization”.
President Trump was quick to celebrate the news of the two leaders meeting, tweeting out “KOREAN WAR TO END!” to his followers. While this type of rhetoric has been used in previous peace talks, the president believes things will be much different this time around.
North Korea’s leader acknowledged that the meeting between the two nations would be met with much skepticism, but that it should deter them from trying to make peace.
“We have reached big agreements before but were unable to fulfill them. … There are skeptical views on whether the meeting today will yield meaningful results. If we maintain a firm will and proceed forward hand in hand, it will be impossible at least for things to get worse than they are now.”
Critics have said that Kim has used this type of language before, only to go back on his word. However, advocates of this meeting believe that coming together to talk is the only way that peace can truly be achieved.
In an official statement, the White House said they are “hopeful that talks will achieve progress toward a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean Peninsula. … (and) looks forward to continuing robust discussions in preparation for the planned meeting between President Donald J. Trump and Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks.”
Just think, a few months ago it looked like North Korea was on the verge of launching nuclear missiles at their enemies. Now, thanks in large part to pressure being applied by our commander in chief, it appears as though peace is an actual possibility.