On Friday 27thApril, the leaders of North and South Korea, Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in, signed a declaration agreeing to work towards the denuclearization on the peninsula. This historic meeting saw Kim Jong Un crossing the military demarcation line and becoming the first North Korean leader to enter the South since fighting stopped 65 years ago.

The two leaders also agreed on the end to the Korean War and the establishment of permanent peace between the two countries. To this end, the declaration included promises to pursue military arms reduction, cease “hostile acts”, turn their fortified border into a “peace zone”, and seek multilateral talks with other countries, such as the United States.

However, many questions are still on the table: for example, what level of denuclearisation is North Korea willing to agree to? Do the two sides even share the same definition of the term? Does denuclearisation imply that the two countries will only freeze their weapons or rather dismantle them? What North Korea want in exchange for any promises of getting rid of its nuclear weapon?

In this developing scenario, the White House said that hopefully these talks “will achieve progress towards a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean Peninsula”. A planned meeting between President Donald Trump and King Jong Un should take place in the coming weeks but if these talks do not produce anything meaningful, it is less likely that President Trump will meet with the north Korean leader. Moreover, considering the verge of war reached just a few months ago, if no real progress on denuclearisation comes out of these discussions, it is more likely that military action will be involved.

 

Gabriella Cinque