The halcyon days of 2018 seem very distant. Two years ago, North Korea sent a delegation to the Pyeongchang winter Olympics; three summits took place between the leaders of the two Koreas; president Trump and Kim Jong-un wined, dined, and produced what John Bolton terms – in his latest book – a 'substance-free communiqué' in Singapore. Now the era of newfound warm relations between Pyongyang and Washington seems to be over.
The 'permanent and stable peace regime on the Korean peninsula', to which the two Koreas committed in April 2018, is anything but fulfilled. And if recent events show, relations are in danger of deteriorating rapidly. While Kim Jong Un is still at the helm of North Korea, his sister, Kim Yo Jong, is playing a growing role, as mediating force between the party and military, and taking a firmer hold of inter-Korean affairs.