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Another talks on the footbridge

Posted April. 30, 2018 08:09,   

Updated April. 30, 2018 08:09


Two people with a grave look talk with each other in a sound-proof glass-wall office. Others nervously look at their faces outside the room. Finally, the door opens and the destiny is announced. This is a scene often shown in films and TV shows. The audience gets immersed in the scene because of the mismatch between vision and hearing the glass walls create. The footbridge of Panmunjom created such an effect from 4:36 p.m. to 5:19 p.m. Friday.

After planting a tree together, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walked across the 50-meter long footbridge and sat on a bench at the end of it. They talked for half an hour. The whole world watched the live broadcast, but no voice was heard. There was only the sound of the wind and birds. It looked as if they were in a giant glass bead. Sunlight flooded the bridge and trees were verdant, and two men wearing a navy suit and a Mao suit looked surreal.

South Korea suggested the walk crossing the bridge. The Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission built the footbridge in the 1950s for ease of travel to Panmunjom circumventing swamps. The United Nations called it Foot Bridge, which became an official name. The bridge was painted blue, which seems to be symbolizing the UN and the Unification Flag.

A 30-minute talk between two heads of state without interpreters and guards is unprecedented. This should mean that they had a lot to talk about and needed a space for a frank chat. Including the walk, they talked for 43 minutes. U.S. President Donald Trump would have waited for a call from Moon. In movies, the expression‎ that protagonists wear on their face as they walk out of the glass office often indicates how the movie will end. But nobody knows how the denuclearization talks will turn out.

Kee-Hong Lee sechepa@donga.com