Will the new relationship between The US and North Korea lead to real peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-President Trump’s summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was historic and significant only in that it was a first of many small steps toward creating a better relationship between the two nations. Most experts have said nothing substantial came out of the summit in terms of tangible policy like North Korea following through on its promise to denuclearize.

I think most experts were hoping for something akin to instant gratification from the summit—as in, one meeting and everyone lives happily ever after in peace and harmony. Since we’ve been in a stalemate with North Korea for sixty-five years, to expect any meaningful progress after only one meeting between the two leaders is overly optimistic on an exponential level.

The principal accomplishment of this summit was the start of face-to-face communication by each country’s leaders. It may take summits with the next five presidents to make any progress in persuading North Korea to stand down its nuclear weapons, but what’s twenty more years when sixty-five have passed with nothing to show for our government’s efforts?

The US agreeing to cease joint military exercises also sends an important message to the North that they can relax their guard a tiny bit. I see it as a goodwill gesture by the US, not a significant concession. And personal meetings between President Moon of South Korea and Kim Jung Un were also historic and another small step in the right direction. After all, no one has more skin in this game than the Korean people, who have lived under the constant threat of annihilation for generations. Any talks and negotiations between the two Koreas can only be beneficial for peace.

A third positive is North Korea’s participation in this year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. That move signals a desire by North Korea to be recognized as world citizens who aren’t isolated and ostracized by the rest of the world. I expect further outreach by North Korea in the areas of sports, the arts, maybe even tourism, as a way to further improve their sense of belonging to the world.

The most important benefit from the summit is the hope that Kim Jong Un will now begin to address his country’s dire economic situation and be willing to make gradual concessions with his nuclear plans in exchange for incremental easing of economic sanctions. He seems to be the first North Korean leader to understand that the status quo in his nation will only result in disaster.

True peace on the Korean peninsula will not occur for decades. But stability has made a small, yet significant improvement. All that’s needed now is patience, level heads, and a desire for peace.

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-There won’t be peace on the Korean peninsula until China and the U.S. stop using the two countries to hash out their proxy war. Word came today that the Chinese are trying to sabotage the peace deal because they’re angry with Trump about his ill-conceived trade war and the tariffs attendant thereunto.

The average Korean wants peace.  The average Korean has friends and family members on the other side of the most heavily fortified border on the planet. The average Korean doesn’t give a bowl of rancid kim chi (how can you tell when it’s gone rancid?) whose ego gets stroked or whose global vision is proven superior…they just want their damned country back.  Kim Jong Un is an inbred megalomaniac who is willing to murder family members and run his country like a totalitarian pseudo-utopia that would have made Orwell blush, but even he will eventually have to bow to the will of his people…if the other world powers will get their fingers out of the pie.

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