China is watching the summit closely, with news of the meeting occupying most of China Central Television (CCTV) coverage today.
Li Xiyu, a professor of politics and diplomacy at Sungkyunkwan University told the Chinese publication, the Paper, that it’s still too early to talk about reunification but that the two sides would remain committed to peace.
Still, on social media Chinese internet users were excited about the prospect and drew comparisons to the possibility of China reuniting with Taiwan. Beijing claims that Taiwan, which has been ruled by its own government for decades, belongs to mainland China.
“If brothers can share the same heart and mud become gold, the two sides of the strait can reunify,” one internet user posted on Weibo. Another wrote, “Let’s witness history. I hope Taiwan can return to China someday.”
“The Berlin Wall fell. The 38th parallel is blurred. I just want Taiwan to cross the ocean, like a long lost kid returning to his mother.”
While people around the world were gripped by live TV coverage of this morning’s historic handshake between Moon and Kim, the people of North Korea were not among them. According to Martyn Williams, who runs the North Korea Tech blog, state run TV did not broadcast the event.
The #koreansummit is news everywhere, except North Korea. Here’s a taster of what North Korean TV viewers got to see vs the rest of the world. https://t.co/uLaO7f245c pic.twitter.com/Usm2Nx13tq
April 27, 2018
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said just over a third of TV viewers in the Seoul area watched live images of the leaders’ greeting each other across the military demarcation line separating their countries.
Japan’s defence minister, Itsunori Onodera, has said Tokyo hopes the summit will lead to demonstrable progress on North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes, and a resolution of the regime’s cold war abductions of Japanese nationals. “Japan will be watching closely for signs that North Korea is taking action on these issues,” he said.
Japan claims that 17 of its nationals – and perhaps many more – were abducted in the 1970s and 1980s and put to work teaching North Korean agents their language and culture. In 2002, five abductees were allowed to return to Japan. North Korea claimed that eight abductees died and that the remaining four had never entered the country.
Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has reportedly received assurances from Moon that he will raise the abduction issue with Kim at today’s summit.