Time to give history a nudge to achieve lasting peace on Korean Peninsula

Friday, 2018-04-27 06:55:08
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This photo, taken April 26, 2018, shows an inter-Korean border at the Joint Security Area in the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom. The leaders of the two Koreas will shake hands at the border. (Photo:Yonhap)
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Top leader Kim Jong-un of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is to cross the military demarcation line today (April 27) for a historic meeting with the Republic of Korea (RoK) President Moon Jae-in, becoming the first DPRK leader ever to set foot on the southern side since the Korean War.

The globally-watched summit, the third of its kind, sends out a positive signal for the denuclearization and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula, on which hinges the stability of Northeast Asia.

Different from the previous two inter-Korean summits, respectively in 2000 and 2007, the latest meeting comes as desirable changes have been taking place on the peninsula in recent months.

After the DPRK sent a sports delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February, Moon dispatched a special envoy to Pyongyang. Then Kim paid a landmark visit to Beijing, his first foreign trip as DPRK top leader, and CIA chief Mike Pompeo, US President Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state, made a secret trip to Pyongyang.

What's more, last week the DPRK pledged to "discontinue nuclear test and inter-continental ballistic rocket test-fire from April 21" and dismantle the northern nuclear test ground.

As an old saying goes, "Make hay while the sun shines." Now the Korean Peninsula stands at a crossroad with a good opportunity to move in the right direction towards complete denuclearization and lasting peace.

To sustain the positive momentum, relevant parties should grasp the opportunity, achieve a nuclear-free peninsula and replace the armistice with a peace treaty.

In order to seek a way out of the quagmire and avoid falling into the same trap again, it is imperative to address both the symptoms and the root causes of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. That requires wisdom, patience and bold resolve.

The "dual-track" approach proposed by China -- advancing denuclearization and meanwhile establishing a peace regime -- offers a fair, acceptable and reasonable path forward, taking into account the interests and concerns of all parties involved.

Now with a "warm breeze" blowing on the peninsula, hopes for lasting peace in the region are rising. It is time to give history a nudge.

by Xinhua writer Lu Rui
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