Cover Story



A South-North Korea summit was held on April 27, 2018. It has been 11 years since the previous summit in 2007. The previous summits were held in Pyeongyang, but the 2018 summit was in Panmunjeom of South. Panmunjeom is the Joint Security Area in the Military Demarcation Line. Recently this has been utilized as a place for contact and conference between South and North Korea. It was the first time the leaders of North and South Korea met at the Military Demarcation Line, and a leader of North Korea tread on South Korean land, too. We are living in a historical time.
President Moon Jae-in and Chairman Kim Jong-un jointly announced the Panmunjeom Declaration for peace, prosperity, and reunification of the Korea Peninsula. In the declaration, there are three primary goals: denuclearization of the Korea Peninsula, establishment of a lasting peace, and an innovative improvement in inter-Korean relations. South and North plan to declare the end of the war later this year, which is the 65th anniversary of the ceasefire agreement. They decided to change the ceasefire agreement into a peace agreement and confirmed a common cause of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization. Also, they will push forward a conference, a three-party meeting (South Korea, North Korea and U.S.A.) or four-party meeting (South Korea, North Korea, U.S.A. and China), for establishing permanent and stable peace.
The summit was headline news around the world, focusing the world’s attention on the Korean Peninsula. I interviewed students from other countries about their thoughts of the summit.

-China
1. Please introduce yourself.
Hello. My name is Mangiham. I’m from China. I’m 23 years old and my major is Journalism & Visual Communication.

2. What do you usually think about inter-Korean relations?
In the past, I thought inter-Korean relations were very dangerous because there was no peace. I think it was more serious because there has been no exchanges for a few years.

3. What did you think about the summit?
I think the summit is a historical moment. I’m very happy because no war will break out. A few years ago, my parents were worried about war between North and South Korea.

4. How did your friends react?
My friends think the relationship between North and South will be better.
Everyone loves to be peaceful and they hope they will keep it peaceful. They hope peace between the two countries will last a long time.

-Japan
1. Please introduce yourself.
Hello, my name is Reina from Japan. I’m 24 years old. My major is English Language and Literature.

2. What do you usually think about inter-Korean relations?
Both the South and the North thought they were just different countries and thought they would go on separated. And if the two countries are unified, the economic difference will be huge.

3. What did you think about the summit?

It's so touching. I hope other countries that do not get along with each other because they are constantly on the news of the world. I wish there were no war.

4. How did your friends react?

I hope the relationship continues like this. As Korea is next door, we are nervous when you fight.

-Korea
1. Please introduce yourself.
Hello, my name is Kwon O-hwan from Korea. My major is Politics and International Relations and I’m a sophomore.

2. What do you usually think about inter-Korean relations?
South and North relations were usually uncomfortable after a conservative government. Also, I think these new relations, which are voluntary, were inevitable because of global economic structure.

3. What did you think about the summit?
It is just as well that the relations could be better and enter a peace phase. I worried about the North’s sudden provocation after the peace summit this time.

4. How did your friends react?
Most of my friends reacted to this summit positively. They have an optimistic view that unification will happen soon.

-Russia
1. Please introduce yourself.
Hello, my name is Pabell. I’m 21 years old and my major is Russian language and literature.

2. What do you usually think about inter-Korean relations?
I didn't really care about current events. Sometimes, I read about it on portal sites.

3. What did you think about the summit?
This is the first time that a North Korean leader has come to South Korea for a summit. This was thought to be a relationship between the two Koreas that is more likely to be better, and it was thought that there would be a good chance that a full peace on the Korean Peninsula would occur in the future.

4. How did your friends react?
All of my friends were interested in improving inter-Korean relations. I am expecting the situation to improve even more and thinking about whether I can get to Seoul by train from Siberia.

-U.S.A
1. Please introduce yourself.
Hello, I'm Taryn from Texas.

2. What do you usually think about inter-Korean relations?
I don't think very much about inter-Korean relations. I know they're getting better, but other than that I don't usually pay too much attention to it.

3. What did you think about the summit?
I did hear about the summit though and I'm pretty positive about the outcome. I think the Korea's will at least have mutual respect for each other. The only thing I worry about is that America will mess up all the progress that has been happening.

4. How did your friends react?
Actually, none of my friends really said anything, even my Korean coworkers didn't say anything. My dad is really the only one I know who has been keeping up with the news.Results of interview, in the second question, they were anxious or not interested about inter-Korean relations. In the third question, they have positive attitudes about the summit and hope for good relations between South and North Korea.
I hope we can maintain a good relation between South and North Korea, too. Kim Jong-un will hold a summit in Pyeongyang this fall as Moon Jae-in reciprocates the previous visit. I anticipate good results in the fall summit that started with the energy of peace from the North’s participation in the Pyeongchang Olympics.