The first anniversary of the Korea summit passed without states leaders
Kim Jong-un didn’t answer on invite and Moon Jae-in didn’t come
/NOVOSTIVL/ The government celebrated the first anniversary of the summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean Kim Jong-un in a low key manner, Saturday. This article appeared in The Koren Times.
According to experts the following day, the celebration apparently showed Moon's woes over the stalled denuclearization talks between the North and the U.S., which poses a challenge to his mediation role.
Moon did not come to the celebration co-hosted by the Ministry of Unification, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Gyeonggi Province Government on the southern side of Panmunejom, where the summit took place April 27, 2018.
Instead it featured a 3-minute, 16 seconds-long video message from Moon, who said, "We often need to catch our breath and find a way together when we run into hurdles."
The remainder of the ceremony mainly consisted of cultural performances.
"The President was apparently referring to the stalemate in the Pyongyang-Washington dialogue and its negative impact on the inter-Korean reconciliatory efforts," said Park Won-gon, an international relations professor at Handong Global University.
He argued the ceremony was "the best scenario" that the Moon government could come up with, considering the North gave no response to the South's offer for a joint celebration.
"It would have been nonsense if Moon showed up at the ceremony," he added, pointing out the Panmunjeom Declaration was jointly announced by Moon and Kim during their first summit and it would have been appropriate for the two leaders to be present in any relevant celebrations.