For the first time since the Korean War ended in 1953, a North Korean leader stepped foot in South Korea — and it was for a peace summit. The historic meeting kicked off with a ceremonial handshake between Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the Demilitarized Zone. They talked unification and denuclearization in a closed-door meeting and signed the “Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification.” Though there are very few specifics as to how they’ll accomplish the goals laid out in the agreement, it’s an important and potentially transformative step for the two nations.
And now there is a lot of pressure on President Trump. Vox reporter Alex Ward explains:
“Experts told me the Kim-Moon summit served as a sort of prelude to the Kim-Trump meeting in late May or early June — which means both leaders will face heightened expectations for their encounter after the relative success of Friday’s summit. ... Seoul will push for an equally optimistic and forward-looking agreement, but Washington will want to focus on specifics and substance.”
To understand more about how these monumental events came to pass, and what it means for the future, listen to Ward and Elise Hu, NPR’s Asia correspondent and bureau chief based in Seoul, on the latest episode of Today, Explained:
- North Korea’s leader steps across border for historic summit (Jen Kirby/Vox)
- 3 main takeaways from the historic North Korea-South Korea summit (Alex Ward/Vox)
- Kim, Moon pledge denuclearization of peninsula and end to Korean war (Elise Hu and Scott Neuman/NPR)
How do I get even more Today, Explained?
You can get the news we’re reading throughout the day, facts and stats to make you smarter about the world, and behind-the-scenes photos on Twitter at @Today_Explained. You can follow Sean Rameswaram at @Rameswaram, Alex Ward at @AlexWardVox, and Elise Hu at @EliseWho.
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