It’s not hard to imagine that former President Barack Obama would be clearing shelf space for his second Nobel Peace Prize in response to the detente taking shape on the Korean Peninsula, had it occurred under his watch.
Thanksgiving is entirely an American holiday but there was plenty of thankfulness to go around over a video Thursday of North and South Korea soldiers shaking hands at the demilitarized zone that divides the two countries.
— Woj Pawelczyk (@Woj_Pawelczyk) November 22, 2018
With the U.S. media working to portray a divide between Pyongyang and President Donald Trump amid a changing attitude in North Korea, the president’s decision to engage with Kim Jong Un continues to pay dividends.
The soldiers in the video are at the sight of an access road being connected across their shared border, according to Voice of America.
The dirt road is one of the agreements that came out of a summit between Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. It will be used for joint operations next year to recover remains from the Korean War, VOA reported.
“It is historically significant for the North and the South to open a new passage and jointly engage in operations to recover remains of war dead at the place which saw the worst battles during the war,” Seoul’s defense ministry said Thursday.
— ZULEYDI P (@zuleydi_perez) November 20, 2018
In addition to connecting the road, another step being taken, according to Reuters, is the disarming of areas along the border, with some landmines and guard posts being removed.
The DMZ is one of the most fortified places on earth.
An inter-Korea railroad is also being discussed, and with the U.S. media focused on “stalled” nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed that denuclearization is key as the U.S. and South Korea took part this week in a bilateral working group on North Korea this week, UPI reported.
“We have made clear to the Republic of Korea that we do want to make sure that peace on the peninsula and the denuclearization of North Korea aren’t lagging behind the increase in the amount of inter-relationship between the two Koreas,” Pompeo said. “We view them as tandem, as moving forward together. We view them as important parallel processes.”
South Korea supports the easing of sanctions against North Korea, while the U.S. is adamant that denuclearization must occur first.
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