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Paradigm shift in the Koreas

15 4 45

The historic visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to peace house located at Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone last week and his meeting with the South Korean President Moon Jae-in can be termed as a landmark and a milestone in decades of conflict ridden North-South Korean relations. Kim became the first leader of North Korea to put his feet on the South Korean soil since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Melting of ice in North-South Korean relations took place when winter Olympics were held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February this year. On that occasion the North and South Korean teams marched under one flag. The younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during her meeting with the South Korean President handed over to him a letter from her brother urging for an earlier meeting. While the United States, United Nations, China and Japan welcomed the historical peace summit held between the two erstwhile neighbours, both North and South Korea pledged to transform their age old conflict ridden relations as peaceful. The two sides also called for complete denuclearisation and ending the state of war in the Korean peninsula. But, it is not for the first time that North and South Korea expressed their resolve for peace because the earlier inter-Korean summits held in 2000 and 2007 had also raised expectations. Yet critical issues which plague their relations since the division of the Korean peninsula couldn’t be resolved. But, the April 27 summit held between the North Korean leader and the President of South Korea which took place inside South Korea cannot be ruled out as an insignificant step.

For the first time in the history of the Korean conflict, North and South Korea provided a solid road map to proceed for peace and to resolve issues which since the last 65 years are a source of instability and tension in........

© Daily Times