The Third Inter-Korean Summit Ends On Many Positive Notes
The third inter-Korean summit looks to have been a wild success. Held in the North Korean capital city of Pyongyang, talks between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un lasted for three days from Sept. 18 to Sept. 20, when Moon returned to Seoul. He came back with plans to increase the reunions between North and South citizens, a promise by Kim to come meet for talks in Seoul, and two tons of the rare and expensive pine mushroom as a gift for the Chuseok holiday. Moon has instructed that the mushrooms be shared with members of separated families.
During the trip, Moon delivered a speech at the May Day Stadium to a crowd of 150,000 North Koreans. The topic of his speech was reunification. It was the first time in history for a South Korean president to address an assembly of North Koreans.
Some more immediate and concrete steps toward reconciliation were also agreed upon, including video conferences for family reunions and the removal of 11 guard posts along the border. Some of the promises from the summit, however, were a little more vague. North Korea agreed to allow international observers watch the destruction of one of their missile facilities, and the two countries agreed to start building an inter-Korean rail network. However, details on these big ideas were not forthcoming.
Kim also agreed to dismantle the Yongbyon Nuclear Reactor, but only if the United States agrees to make some concessions to the North. Indeed, the U.S. was the elephant in the room for the summit. Many view Moon as a mediator who could nudge Kim toward agreeing to U.S. demands. Talks between North Korea and the U.S. are currently frozen, with the U.S. refusing to give in to any of the North’s demands until they see further, concrete steps taken toward denuclearization.
U.S. President Donald Trump wrote that the results of the summit were “very exciting,” but he has so far failed to make any move toward further dialogue with the North. Taking a break from political discussions, Kim and Moon made a visit to Mount Baekdu, which sits on the border with China. The mountain is considered the spiritual birthplace of the Korean people, and visiting it has long been a dream of the South Korean president. He even collected a bottle of water from Lake Heaven, at the base of the mountain.
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1. When was the third inter-Korean summit held?
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3. What did North Korea agree with at the end of the meeting?
1. What do you know about the Korean War?
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