Experts Say

The two Koreas have tried to make peace before – and they could do so again


December 12, 2017
By Dong Jin Kim

With tension on the Korean Peninsula higher than it’s been for years and fears are surging on all sides that a full-blown conflict is nearer than ever. But as the war of words between Washington and Pyongyang gets ever more lurid, with missile and warhead tests on one side and military exercises and flypasts on the other, it’s easy to forget that North and South Korea have made serious efforts to defrost their relationship before. On July 7 1988, with the Cold War coming to an end, South Korean President Rho Tae-woo announced his plan to “actively promote exchanges of visits between the people of South and North Korea, including politicians, businessmen, journalists, religious leaders, cultural leaders, artists, academics and students”.
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