Today, one of the last vestiges of the Cold War – the Korean Conflict – took a great leap forward to being resolved. A remarkable moment in the history of our generation happened this morning, when Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea, stepped into South Korea to meet with its President, Moon Jae-in.
No North Korean supreme leader had hitherto stepped into the South. In fact, the two Koreas ARE technically still at war – because the Korean War (1950-1953) ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
The two Korean leaders took a bold step towards the end of enmity and lasting peace by announcing their intention to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. The world, which just months ago was gripped by real fear of a nuclear war in East Asia, can breathe a huge sigh of relief tonight. In fact, the scene of the two leaders exchanging friendly words brought tears to many Koreans watching the spectacle on television.
In days to come, much will no doubt be written about this latest development in Korea. Every sentence and expression by the two leaders and their delegates will be thoroughly analysed and commented all over the globe. And there will certainly be detractors, critics, and cynics on the reconciliation process; they have a right to express their views and scepticism.
But make no mistake about the significance of events unfolding before us. If there were peace finally in the Korean Peninsula years from now, that amity had its beginning today with a firm handshake and the leaders’ grasp of its importance in history.
I am of the opinion that whenever there is any opportunity to achieve Peace, grab it! Come what challenges may in actually achieving it – they can be surmounted later. But being positive about it means making peace possible.