A two-day visit by a high-ranking South Korean delegation to North Korea has not only ended with yet more diplomatic progress between the two nations, but an increasingly changed view of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Long derided internationally, Kim is now making a name for himself as a successful diplomat, feting his guests and looking very much like the sort of person who can be dealt with reasonably, and is worth talking to about regional concerns.
In addition to the impression he’s left with South Korea’s delegation, Kim has made his own statement through North Korea’s official news agency, talking up his intention of continuing to advance bilateral relation with South Korea.
In recent weeks, Kim has given multiple orders to North Korea’s top officials to pursue South Korea diplomacy with all haste, and even if talks with the US haven’t come of that yet, North Korea is known to be making such offers to the Trump Administration.
Yet the diplomatic effort has already left an impact on President Trump, who just days prior seemed to be taking his usual dim view of diplomacy, but on Tuesday talked up the “progress” being made, and suggested diplomacy, which started at the Winter Olympics, could continue to be improved upon.
With so little expected of Kim when he took over from his father, the progress already made is remarkable. If he indeed secures diplomatic deals with South Korea, the US, or both, he will have far exceeded what anyone imagined.