Top leader Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is to cross the military demarcation line on Friday for a historic meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, becoming the first DPRK leader ever to set foot on the southern side since the Korean War.
The globally-watched summit, the third of its kind, sends out a positive signal for the denuclearization and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula, on which hinges the stability of Northeast Asia.
Different from the previous two inter-Korean summits, respectively in 2000 and 2007, the latest meeting comes as desirable changes have been taking place on the peninsula in recent months.
After the DPRK sent a sports delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February, Moon dispatched a special envoy to Pyongyang. Then Kim paid a landmark visit to Beijing, his first foreign trip as DPRK top leader, and CIA chief Mike Pompeo, U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, made a secret trip to Pyongyang.
What’s more, last week the DPRK pledged to “discontinue nuclear test and inter-continental ballistic rocket test-fire from April 21” and dismantle the northern nuclear test ground.
As an old saying goes, “Make hay while the sun shines.” Now the Korean Peninsula stands at a crossroad with a good opportunity to move in the right direction towards complete denuclearization and lasting peace.
To sustain the positive momentum, relevant parties should grasp the opportunity, achieve a nuclear-free peninsula and replace the armistice with a peace treaty.
In order to seek a way out of the quagmire and avoid falling into the same trap again, it is imperative to address both the symptoms and the root causes of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. That requires wisdom, patience and bold resolve.
The “dual-track” approach proposed by China — advancing denuclearization and meanwhile establishing a peace regime — offers a fair, acceptable and reasonable path forward, taking into account the interests and concerns of all parties involved.
The crux of the Korean Peninsula issue rests on the conflict between the DPRK and the United States. The mistrust between them runs so deep that to dispel it takes time and good faith. Nonetheless, Washington and Pyongyang have taken a right step by starting direct contact at “very high levels.”
Now with a “warm breeze” blowing on the peninsula, hopes for lasting peace in the region are rising. It is time to give history a nudge. Enditem
Xinhua writer Lu Rui