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Why are they suddenly all bro hugs, smiles and handshakes in Korea's Demilitarized Zone? What does this mean for America?

You've probably heard - there's peace in Korea! Crisis = solved. You can all sleep soundly tonight. We did it! Well...maybe not that dramatic. There are some questions still in the air, but we're cautiously optimistic because, well, remember earlier this year? THAT shitshow? It's much less shitty now.

So what happened?

Last week was filled with exciting photo ops in the DMZ. There was an amazing moment where Kim Jong-Un stepped over the demarcation line that separates the two Koreas, and an even better moment when he invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to step into North Korea. This was all accompanied by, arguably, the longest and most intimate handshake between a dictator and president ever, of all time. Kim Jong-Un even made a joke! (...About always waking Moon with his military threats. Good old North Korea humor.)

After a lot of pleasantries, smiling and hugging, and photos, the new buddies held an Inter-Korean Summit Meeting at the 'Peace House' at Panmunjom. It was the first such summit in over ten years, and the very first since Kim inherited the office from his father.

What happened at the meeting?

Well the Korean War is finally officially over decades after unofficially ending, so that's good news. Here are the other main things they agreed on in the historic meeting:

  • Complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula
  • A complete inter-Korean peace regime within a year
  • Liaison offices on both sides of the demilitarized zone
  • Reuniting of families on both sides

The two leaders promised to regularly meet and have phone conversation to discuss their progress towards these goals.

Great, so is this the end of North Korea as we know it?

Listen, we hope so, but we've been down a similar road before. Peace documents that were signed by both Koreas in 2000 and 2007 did not last. But here's to hoping! Certainly the world was a different place before 2016. Anything is possible now!

What does this mean for us?

If this new peace strategy is legit, this would be great for the world, and what's good for the world is also good for us. Probably the biggest immediate benefit is that we will no longer have to wake up scared that Trump started World War III over Twitter while we slept. WIN!

Aside from Trump ending the world, demilitarization and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula would have some military ramifications for us:

  • Might allow the U.S. to reduce our military presence in South Korea and halt any major military exercises in the area
  • Might allow the U.S. to get rid of our missile defense network in the region
  • China might take some sort of action to protect their influence on the Korean peninsula since South Korea is strongly allied with the U.S. and a unified Korea threatens their influence in North Korea.
  • The U.S might also have to engage more with Japan to ensure their security, since our decreased military presence in the region leaves them a little bit more vulnerable.

There's still so much in the air regarding how this will progress, but we're cautiously optimistic. Now we just wait to see what happens with Trump and Kim later this year.