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Panmunjom Declaration has boosted inter-Korean exchanges Updated: 2018-09-18 18:00:05 KST

It's still hard to say whether the last couple of inter-Korean summits have been successful, but the pledges made in the Panmunjom Declaration signed at the first one in April have definitely given fresh momentum to practical dialogue between the two Koreas.
Since the Panmunjom Declaration was signed five months ago, things have changed diplomatically, and there have been exchanges in culture and economics.
Interaction between the two leaders and their top officials has became more frequent.
The two sides joined together in international sporting events, and the family reunions proceeded just as stated in the Panmunjom Declaration.
A political expert says that agreement eased tensions and opened the road to peace.

"When we look at the atmosphere on the Korean Peninsula early this year, it was tense, with some even saying we were on the brink of war.
It's still early to say that the crisis is completely over, but since the declaration, the two Koreas seem to have been on the same page, both of them hoping to move towards peace and reconciliation."

Until recently, there have been concerns about Pyongyang's willingness to denuclearize as cooperation seemed to slow down in the aftermath of Washington's hardline sanctions.
The expert said that this is the natural in the negotiation process, and that the situation still seems to be positive.

"The tug of war was expected and will likely continue. But with the North ceasing its missile and nuclear provocations lately, even during on its founding anniversary, we can say that things now tend toward the bright side. "

The expert said that at this point, the South Korean government should actively play its role as mediator, not only between Washington and Pyongyang, but also among China, Japan and Russia -- facilitating a discussion of each other's interests and helping them reach a compromise that's best for everyone.
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.
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