South Koreans express mixed reactions on inter-Korean summit

A cool and brooding South Korean public sent off its President Moon Jae-in to North Korea on Tuesday (September 18), in sharp contrast to the wildly enthusiastic crowd of North Koreans cheering their leader Kim Jong Un and his guest arriving for their third summit.

Compared to Moon’s first inter-Korean summit in April, the number of people watching live televised summit news at Seoul train station and city hall plaza was markedly lower. Reflecting the indifference by many in the South, the summit was only ranked top 12 at Naver web portal’s trending topics.

Moon arrived in Pyongyang for the three-day visit aimed at advancing faltering nuclear talks and bringing about a permanent peace regime on the Korean peninsula amid record-low public approval at home.

He faces tough political pressure at home for his government’s handling of the economy and failure to deliver on his promise to create well-paid jobs, as the unemployment rate hit an eight-year high in August.

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