The leaders of North and South Korea, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in met in the Korean War truce village of Panmunjom today.The meeting was rich with symbolism. Every element, from the size of the conference table to the dinner menu, suggested deeper meaning. The declaration contains a lot of positive language and concrete steps that, pending successful negotiation of the details and implementation, could evolve into transformative shifts in inter-Korean relations. Both Moon and Kim acknowledged this morning that some of their promises had been heard before, in the declarations of the 2000 and 2007 inter-Korean summits. The failure to make good on those pledges has contributed much to the pervasive mistrust, and the cynicism, which many in South Korea feel toward the North. The shift to dialogue was made possible in the first instance by North Korea’s decision to engage with South Korea at the beginning of 2018, and from there, thanks in no small part to Moon Jae-in's deft diplomacy, North Korea’s relations with South Korea, on the one hand, and the United States, on the other, are symbiotic, linked closely by the straitjacket of the international sanctions regime. The U.S. harnessed growing international concern to steer the UN Security Council to impose unusually stringent sanctions on North Korea in September and December 2017. These penalties have been implemented with a remarkable diligence by China.With Kim declaring an official end to nuclear testing last week, and the U.S. and South Korean militaries conducting joint exercises this spring on a scale that the North Korean leader was able to accept, the ingredients are in place for progress on military matters at the Kim-Trump meeting. But the risk of U.S.-North Korean failure is ever present. The Easter visit to Pyongyang by Mike Pompeo,…………….Please Log in or Subscribe to view full details…..
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