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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (2nd from left) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (2nd from right) pose with their wives on Mt. Paektu, a volcano on the North Korean-Chinese border, on Sept. 20, 2018 (Kyodo photo via AP).

Is the Time Finally Right for Economic Engagement Between North and South Korea?

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018

The traditional harvest festival of Chuseok is one of the most important days in Korean culture. It is a time to celebrate and rekindle family ties, aided by good food and good drink—that is, if you can make it through the traffic. Chuseok falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, which this year was Sept. 24, days after South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un met in Pyongyang for their third summit.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, the two men and their spouses put on a show that had all the conventional trappings of a family reunion: warm hugs, shared meals and even some playful photo ops. Moon became the first South Korean leader to deliver remarks directly to a mass audience in the North, and the 150,000-strong crowd received him with raucous applause. As longtime Korea-watcher Andrei Lankov wrote, “The summit was, above all, a mood-building exercise.” On that measure alone, it yielded a bumper crop. ...

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