South Korea’s Leader Opens a Door to the North

After months of stalemate, diplomatic efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis are quickening, thanks largely to the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in.

His three-day visit to Pyongyang last week included his third summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and set the stage for talks on Monday with President Trump at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

On Thursday, Mr. Moon made clear what he would like to come out of the meeting with Mr. Trump — a commitment by the United States to declare an end to the Korean War as an incentive for North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons.

Ending the formal state of war 65 years after the fighting ceased should not be that difficult, even if the ultimate goal — ridding the world of the threat from North Korea’s nuclear arsenal — remains elusive.

But the Trump administration still seems confused about its strategy, caught between a president who, eager for a deal, said that the Moon-Kim summit had made “tremendous progress,” and hard-line advisers who doubt any deal with the North is possible.

Mr. Moon, who won the presidency last year on a promise to pursue peace with the North, has been determined to try. Rather than playing a back-seat role to America and the North, he has worked to nudge Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim toward engagement.

Mr. Moon’s dreams of reconciling the rival Koreas, split since the Korean War ended in a 1953 armistice, are deeply personal.

He was born in a refugee camp to parents who fled the North during the war. A human rights lawyer in the years of South Korea’s military dictatorship, he was chief of staff to President Roh Moo-hyun during the last round of Korean summitry in 2007.

Mr. Moon and Mr. Kim appear committed to seeing how far they can go toward reconciling their two countries. One sign was Mr. Moon’s address — the first ever in Pyongyang by a South Korean leader — promising a new era of peace and a “future of common prosperity” to a stadium filled with 150,000 cheering North Koreans. Another was Mr. Kim’s pledge to make a reciprocal visit to Seoul.

This article duplicated from: Fox News

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