* Date : 2018-03-13
Foreign Correspondents Ep.77 - South Korea's dispatches special envoys to North Korea
South Korea's special envoys to North Korea and their achievements
On March 5, President Moon Jae-in's special envoys to North Korea embarked on their two-day trip to Pyongyang. The delegation, which included two cabinet-level officials, met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un three hours after their arrival. They were given a full VIP treatment, being allowed to enter the main headquarters of the Korean Workers' Party for the first time where a four-hour luncheon meeting took place. At around 6 pm on the next day, March 6, the special envoys returned to Seoul and announced that they had reached a set of six agreements with the North, the most important of which was a deal to hold a third inter-Korean summit at the truce village of Panmunjom in late-April. With other agreements also in tow, such as the installation of an emergency hotline between the leaders of the two Koreas as well as affirmation on Pyongyang's willingness to abandon its nuclear program, the special envoys' visit is being lauded as a huge success that surpassed all expectations.
Global reactions to the special envoys' visit
The special envoys' groundbreaking achievements were met with mixed reactions by neighboring countries. The U.S. was more or less optimistic, with President Donald Trump saying on Twitter that the world was watching and waiting, while adding that his country was ready to "go hard" in either direction. China also welcomed the move, with Beijing's foreign ministry releasing a rare, after-hours statement where it expressed hope that the two Koreas could carry on the process of reconciliation and cooperation. On the other hand, Japan remains guarded and suspicious over North Korea's true intentions, asking Seoul's government to provide further details and clarification on what was discussed between the special envoys and Pyongyang officials. In this week's edition of Foreign Correspondents, we sit down with our panel of journalists to discuss these latest developments in further depth.