16 January, 2021

Kimming The Surface

The historic meeting of Kim Jong-il and Kim Da e-jung raises euphoria, as well as fresh doubts

Kimming The Surface

When Kim, a 72-year-old South Korean, first learned the two Koreas had reached an agreement for a first-ever summit last April, he dismissed it as another political show. A far cry from any real step to help realise his personal dream of meeting his two younger sisters after five decades. "Many people believe the coming inter-Korean summit would open the way for family reunions, but no way," says the man, who even refused to reveal his full name out of concerns that it might endanger his sisters somewhere in North Korea.

He's partly right. The summit was a grandiose political show, well-orchestrated by Kim Jong-il, chairman of North Korea's National Defence Commission, who has ruled the hermit state since the death of his father, Kim Il-sung, in July 1994. About 6,00,000 citizens of Pyongyang, North Korea's capital of about 3 million, were mobilised to the streets to frantically greet South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, once described as the leader of a "puppet regime" manipulated by the US.

North Korean leader Kim, a known movie buff, made the...



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