2 May 2018

How North Korea’s nuclear negotiations could finally lead to peace

It’s one of the world’s longest-running conflicts, but could it finally be coming to an end?

It’s one of the world’s longest-running conflicts, but could it finally be coming to an end?

For 65 years, North and South Korea have been sworn enemies. Last week, Kim Jong-un made an historic trip across the border – one of the most highly-militarised stretches of land anywhere on Earth – to meet his southern counterpart, Moon Jae-in.

Now both countries say they want to bring an end to the nuclear standoff that threatens a whole region.

This isn’t the first time that Korean leaders have made overtures towards peace – in the 1990s, the North reached an agreement with the US to dismantle nuclear reactors and accept inspections.

But the goodwill evaporated when Pyongyang failed to stick to the deal. As recently as last September, North Korea was conducting tests on what it claimed was a thermonuclear weapon.

And it’s only a few months since Kim Jong-un found himself in a war of words with Donald Trump, as the two compared nuclear button sizes and exchanged insults.

So what’s changed?