Two Meetings, One Korea

Talks between North and South Korea were suspended earlier this year in February with no clear guidance for unilateral cooperation. Meanwhile, guards on the small, 238-kilometre border stood alert at all times. Volatility ensued and a variety of dismantling situations continued to occur.

On November 26th, however, two of the world’s most staunch enemies united in a small room at the closing ceremony of the Asian Games to talk about their general situation and paths that lead into future shared peace.

Led by two top ranking officials from these countries, the talks ended another stale period of minor attacks, while combating an underlining presence of a never-ending war between the two, brewing since 1950.

The North Korean official is linked to the military forces of the country and his inclusion in talks was a paramount shift in relations between the two.

The two sides came to a decision for continuing further talks in Kaesong on December 11th. This is the location of a border town where a shared working factory exists. This meeting symbolizes the possibility for working together in more diverse ways for years to come. Specifics on the content discussed was not immediately known, but it is safe to say that both sides seemed pleased on their departure.

Hwang Pyong-so, seen as the second-most powerful man in North Korea, held talks with Ryoo Kihl-jae, the South’s reunification minister. Their presence and shared discussion is a testament to changes coming for the previously bleak situation that existed only days prior.

Some analysts say the economic situation of North Korea led to this meeting. Concrete figures are unknown, but it appears that economic growth has slowed recently and North Korean leadership is in need of an economic boost.

There is also observation on a nuclear program in the North, beginning again in 2008, that shows a unique need for calm from the Southern perspective. Previously, this program was halted due to requests from the South during peacetime.

On August 9th, recent Northern attacks on the South wounded two South Korean border guards, starting tensions in a continuously volatile environment. On August 20th, South Korea resumed playing propaganda on loud speakers near the border, a tactic that both sides had previously agreed to stop in 2004. Rockets and shells were shared following this incident, but no casualties were reported.

It is here that we acknowledge the threat poised by the tension between North and South Korea. These meetings are very important to the two nations progressing towards peace. Let us watch and observe upcoming information from the December 11th talks with bated breath.





About the Author

Paul McMahon is an up and coming author as a result of an accident where he fell 3.5 floors from a building and onto concrete, but survived amazingly well. Paul also studied Social Policy and Latin American Studies. He has a Facebook page that you can follow if you like the story or like his travel blog. The message is that the worst accident in the world can still direct you into bliss and prosperity.

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