This sculpture stands on the South Korean side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between South Korea and North Korea. The two nations share a united history and culture, but have been politically divided since 1945. South Korea is democratic and capitalist, while North Korea is an authoritarian, communist government. This sculpture represents the hope of many Koreans that the two nations will someday reunify.

Photograph by Tseren Byambasuren, MyShot
  • On June 13, 2000, the leaders of North and South Korea met for the first time since the nation split more than 50 years earlier. Since 2000, there have been only two other inter-Korea summits, in 2007 and 2018.
    The first inter-Korea summit is largely regarded as a success of South Korean President Kim Dae Jung’s “Sunshine Policy” toward the north. The Sunshine Policy created more open diplomatic relations, and Kim was awarded the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
    The inter-Korea summit strengthened diplomatic relations between the Koreas. An agreement reached at the summit arranged for landmark meetings between family members separated after the Korean War and promised “economic cooperation . . . and exchanges in civic, cultural, sports, health, environmental and all other fields.”
    Tension between the Koreas has increased since the political collapse of the Sunshine Policy. Topics for future inter-Korea summits may include the development of nuclear weapons by North Korea or policing the demilitarized zone (DMZ) on the border between the two nations.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    border Noun

    natural or artificial line separating two pieces of land.

    Encyclopedic Entry: border
    civic Adjective

    having to do with citizenship or public service.

    collapse Verb

    to fall apart completely.

    cooperation Noun

    the act of working together.

    demilitarized zone (DMZ) Noun

    area not controlled by any government, and where it is illegal to station troops.

    diplomatic relations Noun

    the formal ties between nations.

    economic Adjective

    having to do with money.

    landmark Adjective

    significant event or achievement.

    nation Noun

    political unit made of people who share a common territory.

    Encyclopedic Entry: nation
    Nobel Peace Prize Noun

    award recognizing the contributions of a person or organization to "work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace."

    nuclear weapon Noun

    explosive device that draws power from the splitting and combining of atomic nuclei.

    policy Noun

    set of actions or rules.

    regard Verb

    to consider or pay attention to.

    summit Noun

    meeting or conference of top leaders.

    tension Noun

    uncomfortable relationship between two people or groups.

    venture Noun

    risky undertaking, especially a business investment.