This Week in Geographic History: Inter-Korea Summit

We’re slowing down for the summer! Instead of our usual roundup of “This Day in Geographic History” (TDIGH) events, here’s a closer look at one historic event that connects to something in the news today. We’ve also matched it with a map or visual, background information, and additional resources.

Tuesday, June 13

NGS Picture Id:1018203
No, that’s not Kim Jong-Un, leader of North Korea, on the enormous billboard in Pyongyang. It’s his look-alike grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, the founder of the nation. Photograph by H. Edward Kim, National Geographic.

TDIGH: First Inter-Korea Summit

In 2000, the leaders of North and South Korea met for the first time since the country was divided. Though the summit initially improved relations between the Koreas, their relationship has recently worsened due to the issue of nuclear weapons.

Current Event: North Korea Escalates Nuclear Weapons Testing

Since March 2017, North Korea has accelerated its nuclear weapons program, straining relations with South Korea and its allies.


North Korea

South Korea


The Korean War

U.S. involvement in the Korean War

What Are North Korea’s Intentions?

NPR article about North Korea testing long-range missiles

Discussion Questions:  

1. What do you think North Korea is hoping to achieve by escalating its nuclear weapons program?

2. Do you think North and South Korea can have better diplomatic relations? What steps would each country (and their allies) have to take to make that happen?


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