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By In Korea

The Ultimate Goal: Sports Diplomacy and Inter-Korean Peace

The division of the Korean Peninsula has for decades remained one of the most intractable geopolitical challenges in the world. It is the last relic of the Cold War, an ossified monument to the vampiric and paranoid quest for global ideological dominance that defined the latter half of the 20th century. The so-called “DPRK problem” has thus far been insoluble, despite attempts at reconciliation through war, peaceful negotiation, and economic cooperation.

The question is whether or not something as nakedly frivolous as sports can achieve a lasting peace. Historically, the answer is yes…


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By In Korea

Making Sense of the Inter-Korean Summit

“The April 27th summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in was rife with symbolism. The two leaders shook hands across the demarcation line dividing the Koreas before stepping across it; they sat exactly 2018 millimeters across from each other on a table designed to look like two bridges merging together; and they planted a “unity tree” using soil from Mount Paektu in the North and Mount Halla in the South, then watered the tree with water from both the North’s Daedong River and the South’s Han River.

But the summit was not just symbolic. Concrete—albeit unspecific—commitments were made. A North-South liaison office will be established, separated families will reunite, and there will be a cessation of hostilities—specifically in the Yellow Sea where fatal attacks have occurred as recently as 2010. Most notably, both Koreas vowed to work together to achieve a denuclearized peninsula and to establish an official peace treaty to end the Korean War this year. Such a treaty will require an American cosign, as the 1953 armistice agreement that brought the War to a truce was not signed by South Korea.

The news was dizzying, leaving all who watched in a vertiginous state of skeptical disbelief and hopeful optimism. As developments continue to unfold, there are three essential questions to address in the immediate aftermath…”


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