Ousted State Secretary Rex Tillerson’s clarifications to the contrary, the potential meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un “by May” is a significant diplomatic advance. Whether the hawkish John Bolton’s appointment as the new National Security Adviser will have any affect on this matter remains to be seen, but the rapidly progressing dialogue between North and South Korea has soldiered on regardless of all this. In fact, the leaders of the two countries technically still at war with each other have agreed to meet in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in late April.
According to CNN, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un will meet on April 27th at the “Freedom House,” located on the southern side of the DMZ, which serves as a border between the two countries. In a joint statement released by both sides after a series of talks that preceded the decision, it was also revealed that officials from North and South Korea would also be meeting on April 4th, so as to “prepare for the meeting and agree on security and media arrangements.” The late-April talks between the Korean leaders will be the first time such has happened since 2007.
That inter-Korean summit, which took place between then-South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, was held over a decade ago in October 2007. When he was sworn in 10 years, later Moo-hyun’s successor, Moon declared he “[would] do everything that I can do” to achieve “peace on the Korean Peninsula” as soon as possible.