North Korea has a long history of coming to the negotiation table and then going back on peace agreements, most notably in 1992, 2000 and 2007. It is highly likely that the regime is using the current dialogue to push for concessions, leading American and South Korea on, only to pull out once actual change is demanded from it, holds Nicholas Eberstadt of The New York Times. Crucially, the Kim dynasty was built on the goal of uniting Korea under its leadership. True peace can only happen if it recognizes South Korea’s right to exist, which is fundamentally impossible as it would put the regime’s legitimacy into question.
Even though it is natural to feel skeptical about the real potential of Korean peace talks, recent events show a significant amount of progress that makes reconciliation a very real possibility, suggests Donald Kirk of Inside Sources. North Korea has agreed to halt all nuclear missile testing, the last of which happened in September. The regime sent a whole delegation of entertainers, athletes and state officials to the Winter Olympics in South Korea. Kim Jong-un has professed his “willingness” to talk about ending his nuclear program. Things have gotten a lot better than in the past very quickly. This opportunity shouldn’t be dismissed.