Don’t be fooled by the new calm on the Korean peninsula

Aug 16, 2018

AFTER a summer lull, the whirlwind of North Korea-centred diplomacy that marked the first half of the year is about to resume. This week officials from North and South Korea met at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone on the border and declared that their leaders would meet, for the third time, in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, next month. Kim Jong Un, the North’s dictator, and Moon Jae-in, the South’s president, first met only in April. It all represents an extraordinarily rapid change following previously frozen relations—and North Korean nuclear belligerence.

Mr Kim’s nuclear and missile tests, which he suspended late last year, infuriated China, the North’s historical protector, as much as they unsettled the South. Yet President Xi Jinping has invited him to China on three occasions this year, and he may honour Mr Kim with a visit to Pyongyang around the time of the 70th-anniversary celebrations of the communist state’s founding on September 9th. Nothing has been...

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