RYAN LIPPERT WRITES – Miracles happen every day, and the Korean Peninsula’s latest political development proves this. How else can you explain the fact that North and South Korea appear to be discussing a return to peaceful negotiations?

At the Asian Games’ closing ceremony earlier this month, North Korean officials made an unexpected appearance to meet with officials from the South. At the meeting, the two countries decided to restart negotiations between each other, including discussions of plans for future reunions of families that have been kept apart since the 1950s.

As if this event wasn’t strange enough, get this: Kim Jong Un wasn’t even there. In fact, it’s been a month since his last appearance, and a variety of rumors have been circulating. Some say he might not be feeling well.  Others suggest that he has been taken to an undisclosed location out of fear for his safety due to a possible attempt to overthrow his administration, which could explain why movement into and out of Pyongyang has been restricted for a week. Some even think that Kim’s little sister is now in charge. Nobody seems to know what is going on in North Korea right now, but it must be something big.

Another thing that is notable about this meeting is the fact that North Korean officials stated they plan to have more meetings with the South after this one. This must have come as quite a surprise, considering the fact that relations between the two countries are usually characterized by occasional skirmishes, tense arguments over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, and unproductive attempts at negotiations.

Although clashes between the North and the South are still going strong, this meeting shows that there is still some hope for peace. Hopefully, the conferences alluded to at the meeting will make the Korean Peninsula less of a powder keg than it is now.