Students react to potential North and South Korea peace
COLUMBIA - North and South Korean leaders have committed to denuclearizing Korea and ending the war between the two countries.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met behind closed doors for a day long summit to discuss plans to end the dormant conflict between the two nations. Both leaders signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula.
This is the first time the two leaders have met in the past 10 years.
While Moon and Kim both gave promises of a bright future saying the Koreas "will be reunited as one country," some skepticism still lingers here in the States due to the history of the two countries.
"It's just word of mouth so far. Honestly to me, actions speak louder than words, time will tell," Leo Kim, a student at the University of Missouri, said.
Kim said the ambiguity of the plan is worrying but he's trying to keep hope alive.
Jihwan Aum, a student at Mizzou who was born in Seoul, South Korea said something about this time feels different.
"I watched the Summit yesterday live on my phone and everything looked promising. I don't know, maybe I can have a little bit of hope this time," Aum said.
Aum served in the Korea Marine Corps and said any skepticism he has now, ties into the history between these two nations.
"It was 2014 when I first got stationed at Yeonpyeong Island. When I first stepped into that island, I saw many red flags and I didn't know what that meant at the time. My seniors told me those red flags indicate the marks the North Korean bombs hit. That became very real to me."
He said his feelings about North Korea have changed over time.
"At the time, I was very angry at North Korea and the government but right now, things are changing and I hope they reach the best result they can reach."
Kim thinks peace between the two will be positive for the people in both countries.
"At some point, families from both South and North can come together and finally meet each other," Kim said.
The dark history between the two countries is evident but Aum believes his people will be able to overcome and push forward.
"I honestly don't know how we're going to overcome those wounds but I think we will somehow; I have the faith," Aum said.