Korean peninsula

How Kim and Moon of Korea made history in 2018: from threats of nuclear war to the promise of peace

  • The wisdom of Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un has brought the Korean peninsula from the brink of nuclear destruction to hopes of an end to national division
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 January, 2019, 1:04pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 January, 2019, 11:20pm

The year 2018 is now history. At the start of the new year, I would like to reflect on the year that is gone. Surely, 2018 will go down as one of the most remarkable in the history of the Korean nation.

Considering the sequence of events, everything happened as if in a dream. Before the start of the year, our homeland was under the threat of war. Who can forget the aggressive rhetoric from North Korea and the United States threatening total destruction of the enemy?

But things changed drastically, thanks to the wisdom of the leaders of the two Koreas. Instead of dreadful threats, our President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed their goodwill towards each other, holding as many as three bilateral summits in 2018. Kim’s sister became the first member of the ruling North Korean dynasty to visit the South when she attended the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February, and Moon received a standing ovation after he became the first South Korean president to address an audience in the North, at the mass games in Pyongyang in September.

Moreover, US President Donald Trump had a historic meeting with Kim in Singapore on June 12 and agreed on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

I am happy to see the determination of our leaders to achieve peace in our homeland. Our country has been divided into two confrontational halves for nearly seven decades. Many families were forcefully separated by the war and could not be reunited because of the selfishness of leaders. Therefore, the efforts of the two Koreas’ current leaders is encouraging (“North Korea’s Kim writes to South’s Moon asking for more peace talks”, December 30).

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In the near future, I hope that both Seoul and Pyongyang can strengthen their efforts to achieve peaceful reunification of the motherland. I hope that one day, our 3,000-ri (1,200km, the traditionally held approximate length of the Korean peninsula) homeland will be a peaceful land without nuclear weapons and people from both sides can come together without borders.

Elvis Kim Byeong-seong, Gwangju City