S. Korea looks back on 20 years of historic inter-Korean summits

  • 4 years ago
6.15 선언 '20주년', 되돌아보는 남북정상회담

Twenty years ago today was the historic meeting between the late former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung... and North Korea's late former leader Kim Jong-il.
Our Choi Won-jong details several key events from that summit and the ones since.
When the late former President Kim Dae-jung shook hands with Kim Jong-il, it was the first time the leaders of South and North Korea had met in person since the division of the Korean Peninsula more than half a century before.

"I look forward to it. With this visit, I sincerely look forward to transforming a relationship filled with distrust into a relationship of reconciliation and cooperation."

Sitting down in Pyeongyang, the two leaders signed the June 15 Inter-Korean Joint Declaration.
The agreement included promises like reuniting separated family members,... and easing military tensions.
Some of those promises, like the reunions, were fulfilled, but relations became tense again after the North conducted several nuclear tests in 2006.

The following year, South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun went to Pyeongyang for talks on the nuclear issue, and the leaders agreed to move ahead in earnest with a joint industrial complex near the border at Gaeseong.
That part of the agreement, at least, lasted until 2016... when the Gaeseong complex was shut down by the administration of Park Geun-hye due to a series of nuclear tests by the North.

But in 2018 there was a renewed sense of hope for relations, with a new liberal administration in South Korea and a young leader in charge in the North.
They decided to hold a summit in April that year, the first one in a decade, and another one the following month, at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjeom, inside the DMZ.
Their third, and fifth overall, was held in the North Korean capital of Pyeongyang in September.
The leaders agreed to reduce tensions between the two sides, but for two years on, there has been no sign of another inter-Korean summit.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.