Lessons from the Korean summit

By John Lim |

(Taipei Times ) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on April 27 attracted global attention as they shook hands at the start of a historic summit in the Demilitarized Zone on the 38th parallel.

The Moon-Kim summit was significant because it was the first time that a North Korean leader crossed the border to South Korea since the division of the Korean Peninsula more than 70 years ago.

It was also significant because Moon and Kim issued a joint statement signed in Panmunjom, declaring that they would aim for a peace agreement next year to replace the Korean War Armistice Agreement, thus formally ending the state of war that has existed since the Korean War broke out in 1950.

An exchange of visits between national leaders and a decision to end a state of war are dreams that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have been unable to realize to this day.

What inspiration can the two sides of the Strait draw from the two Koreas’ summit, and why can they not achieve what the two Koreas are achieving on the Korean Peninsula?

The difference between the Strait divide and the two Koreas is that South and North Korea identify as one people and hope that the two will be united someday, even though they are ruled by separate governments, but after Taiwan underwent its democratization and localization process in the 1990s, mainstream opinion in Taiwan no longer takes unification into consideration.

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