Both North and South Korea have agreed to live broadcast a meeting between Presidents Moon Jae-in and communist dictator Kim Jong-un, one that may finally bring the Korean War to an official end.
The agreement came after talks between the two sides in the neutral security area of Panmunjom ahead of next week’s summit, where Moon has reportedly affirmed his intention to officially end the Korean war and make serious steps towards a denuclearization agreement.
“At the second working-level talks, the two sides reached a general agreement in areas related to the protocol, security measures, and media coverage,” said South Korean spokesman Kwun Hyuk-ki, who was present at this week’s talks.
“We have also agreed to show key events of the historical South-North Korea summit through live broadcasting, starting with the first handshake of the two leaders,” he continued.
A peace deal between the North and South would bring an end to a war that has effectively been a stalemate since fighting ended in 1953, a process that led to North Korea becoming the world’s most brutal communist dictatorship and a capitalist South Korea turning into one of the world’s most prosperous and highly developed countries.
It is not yet clear how the Kim regime will present peace with South Korea to his people, given the way his state propaganda machine portrays the South and other Western countries as evil forces intent on destroying their country.
Authorities in Washington will closely watch the summit, as the issue of denuclearizing North Korea remains high on the President Donald Trump’s agenda amid a year that has seen viable threats of war and all-out destruction. On Tuesday, Trump gave his “blessing” to South Korea to begin negotiations over a peace treaty.
“South Korea is meeting and has plans to meet with North Korea to see if they can end the war and they have my blessing on that,” Trump told reporters in Palm Beach alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “They do have my blessing to discuss the end of the war.”
The de-escalation of tensions between North Korea and Western allies began in February after both Koreas agreed to hold joint events at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and has since included additional talks and even inter-cultural exchanges such as pop concerts.
Trump himself is planning to meet with Kim Jong-un by May, in what would be an extraordinary encounter between two men who have threatened each other’s countries as well as every aspect of their being.
“Meetings are being set up right now between myself and Kim Jong-un,” he said last week. “I think it will be terrific. I think we’ll go in with a lot of respect and we’ll see what happens, but China has really helped us at the border and we appreciate it.”
On Wednesday, Trump also confirmed that his nominee for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Kim in Pyongyang and the two had developed a “good relationship,” adding that “denuclearization will be a great thing for a world.”