May 12, 2021

Friends and then foes: Korea’s three-year rollercoaster ride, explained

North Korea is test-firing missiles and slamming Seoul and Washington. What can South Korea’s president do to fix it?

This time three years ago, South Korean President Moon Jae-in made history by meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border, in the “peace village” of Panmunjom — a moment that led to two more summits and two milestone agreements within the year. 

At around 9:30 a.m. that day — April 27, 2018 — the world watched as Kim held Moon’s hand and briefly crossed over to the South Korean side of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) before a pool of eager cameramen. That day, Kim also made history by becoming the first North Korean leader to step on South Korean land in 65 years.