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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in planting a ceremonial tree during the summit. Photo: Korea Summit Press Pool via Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in convened at the long-anticipated inter-Korean Summit in South Korea on Friday. The two leaders released a joint declaration, promising that they will work toward a peace treaty and the complete denuclearization of the peninsula.

Yes, but: These are not unprecedented scenes of amity. They belong to the same movie we saw in 2000 and 2007, when the previous inter-Korean summits occurred, and in 1992, when the two countries declared their shared goal for denuclearization. Still, while skepticism is warranted, we can be cautiously optimistic that the new actors (Kim, Moon and Trump) and new setting (a de facto nuclear North Korea under different leadership) might lead to a different ending this time.

Friday's was the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade, and the third in history. It was also the first time a North Korean leader set foot in South Korea since the Korean War. President Trump tweeted, “The United States, and all of its great people, should be proud of what is now taking place in Korea!”

The summit is meant to set the stage for the even more anticipated and entirely unprecedented meeting between Kim and Trump, expected in mid-June. Moon will brief Trump next month on Friday's meeting with Kim, and the two will sharpen their joint strategy for North Korea's denuclearization.

The bottom line: Friday's meeting was certainly a positive development toward Korean peace, but we will have to wait for the Trump summit to see whether this chapter of the story will play out differently from its predecessors.

Gi-Wook Shin is chair of Korean Studies at Stanford University, director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. chargés d'affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and nonessential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

The latest: The United Kingdom's Foreign Office announced Monday it was also withdrawing some embassy staff and dependants from Ukraine's capital "in response to the growing threat from Russia," but added the British Embassy would remain open.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

U.K. PM orders inquiry into Muslim lawmaker's discrimination claim

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London, England, last week. Photo: Ian Vogler/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office announced Monday that he's ordered an inquiry into allegations from a Conservative Member of Parliament that she was fired from a ministerial job due to her Muslim faith.

Driving the news: Nusrat Ghani told the Sunday Times she was informed by a government whip that she was fired from her position as a junior transport minister in February 2020 after her "Muslimness was raised as an issue" and that her faith made colleagues feel "uncomfortable."

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia attorney general fires Jan. 6 investigator from university post

McIntire Amphitheater at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).