Building on the Kim/Kim Summit

PYONGYANG: Is the Cold War's last glacier beginning to melt? The summit between South Korean President Kim Dae Jung and North Korea's "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il raised hopes on both sides of the Korean peninsula that 55 years of hot and cold war may diminish. Because Korea remains the world's most heavily armed flash point and with the risk of nuclear weapons and missile proliferation still high in North Korea, the whole world may benefit from a loosening of tensions. For that to happen, however, more than the two Korean governments must act imaginatively and responsibly.

Kim Dae Jung's visit to North Korea provided Kim Jong Il with a historic opportunity to convey the message that North Korea is breaking out of self-imposed isolation. By shaking hands with and embracing the South Korean president so publicly and so dramatically, Kim Jong Il demonstrated that he was seriously committed to beginning the process of normalizing political and economic relations between the two Koreas. The warmth of his greeting showed the world that North Korea was indeed opening up; and it showed North Korea's own people that their government was going to change -- how is still unclear -- in order to survive in a rapidly globalizing world. Kim Jong Il's actions also projected a new image of himself as a serious and reasonable leader, not the sinister recluse frequently depicted in newspapers.

The two Kims agreed in principle to work toward reunification by making joint efforts "independently" of outside influence, and to find common ground between the South's idea of a North-South "commonwealth" or confederation, and the North's idea of Alow-level federation". They promised to help families separated by the Demilitarized Zone for half-a-century meet and to promote exchanges in various fields including economic cooperation. Regular government to government meetings will tackle these matters.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/QBIyqW9;
  1. Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

    The Brexit Surrender

    European Union leaders meeting in Brussels have given the go-ahead to talks with Britain on post-Brexit trade relations. But, as European Council President Donald Tusk has said, the most difficult challenge – forging a workable deal that secures broad political support on both sides – still lies ahead.

  2. The Great US Tax Debate

    ROBERT J. BARRO vs. JASON FURMAN & LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS on the impact of the GOP tax  overhaul.


    • Congressional Republicans are finalizing a tax-reform package that will reshape the business environment by lowering the corporate-tax rate and overhauling deductions. 

    • But will the plan's far-reaching changes provide the boost to investment and growth that its backers promise?


    ROBERT J. BARRO | How US Corporate Tax Reform Will Boost Growth

    JASON FURMAN & LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS | Robert Barro's Tax Reform Advocacy: A Response

  3. Murdoch's Last Stand?

    Rupert Murdoch’s sale of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets to Disney for $66 billion may mark the end of the media mogul’s career, which will long be remembered for its corrosive effect on democratic discourse on both sides of the Atlantic. 

    From enabling the rise of Donald Trump to hacking the telephone of a murdered British schoolgirl, Murdoch’s media empire has staked its success on stoking populist rage.

  4. Bank of England Leon Neal/Getty Images

    The Dangerous Delusion of Price Stability

    Since the hyperinflation of the 1970s, which central banks were right to combat by whatever means necessary, maintaining positive but low inflation has become a monetary-policy obsession. But, because the world economy has changed dramatically since then, central bankers have started to miss the monetary-policy forest for the trees.

  5. Harvard’s Jeffrey Frankel Measures the GOP’s Tax Plan

    Jeffrey Frankel, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former member of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, outlines the five criteria he uses to judge the efficacy of tax reform efforts. And in his view, the US Republicans’ most recent offering fails miserably.

  6. A box containing viles of human embryonic Stem Cell cultures Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

    The Holy Grail of Genetic Engineering

    CRISPR-Cas – a gene-editing technique that is far more precise and efficient than any that has come before it – is poised to change the world. But ensuring that those changes are positive – helping to fight tumors and mosquito-borne illnesses, for example – will require scientists to apply the utmost caution.

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now