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CWA # 7, 18 May 2018

East Asia
Inter Korean Summit: Will it work?

  Jamyang Dolma

Kim Jung-un is trying to repair the relation that got deteriorated over last few years while North Korea developed nuclear weapons. North Korea has now realized that being an isolated and self-dependent country will not help their economic growth. Kim sees a better opportunity in collaboration rather than being a target of other

North Korea and South Korea have now declared their intent to work together to remove nuclear arms from the peninsula and formally end the Korean War. But how will this work? What will be the possible outcomes of the inter-Korean summit? And why now?

Why is the Summit important?

It is the only third time, leaders from the two Koreas met. Also it is first time since Kim took over in 2011 after the death of his father. The two Koreas remain in a state of War, since a peace treaty was never signed at the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War.

So why have the two leaders come together today? Firstly, both countries are dependent on each other South Korea depends on resources and trade route of the North Korea and North Korea depend the economic development and technology for South Korea.

Second, this is also the first time in a decade that South Korea is led by a liberal government that wants to actively engage with the North Korea. Moon has been preparing for engagement with North Korea for most of his career.

Third, both countries want to restore friendly relation and withdraw military forces and weapons. South Korea does not possess any nuclear weapons, but have superior technology compared to North Korea. North Korea is trying to build their own nuclear arsenal to severely reduce South Korean military advantages with upsetting the current state of power between the two. Now both countries are looking to work together and focusing on repairing diplomatic ties and repair their economy. Moon also wants to look at restarting Inter-Korea economic cooperation.

Intern Korean Summit: Why Now?

Kim Jung-un is trying to repair the relation that got deteriorated over last few years while North Korea developed nuclear weapons. North Korea has now realized that being an isolated and self-dependent country will not help their economic growth. Kim sees a better opportunity in collaboration rather than being a target of other.

The progress is yet to make concrete inroads. Much will depend on the meeting between Donal Trump and   Kim Jung-un.

Likely Outcomes of the Inter Korean Summit

The outcome is likely to be both negative and positive. While North Korea has repeatedly said that they are willing to give up its nuclear weapons, it will not denuclearize in the near future. For North Korea, its stability and wellbeing were perceived as dependent on the nuclear arsenal. This is likely to remain a major issue.

On the positive side, if North Korea keeps its word on nuclear weapons then both will have benefit. Especially South Korea can benefits from the trading routes through North Korea to China.

North Korean can gain their own economic stability as well as infrastructure development through the acquisition of South Korean modern technology.

Jamyang Dolma is currently pursuing Masters in International Studies in Christ (deemed to be University)

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