2018 in review: A year that sees easing of tensions
For better or for worse, 2018 is running out of time and in just a few days, a new year will herald a fresh start and a chance to make things right. But before this year becomes history, we are turning back the clock to revisit the biggest events and most notable moments that grabbed the headlines – and our attention – in the past 360-odd days. "2018 in Review" is a four-episode series about this year's news that are set to shape 2019.
It has been an extraordinary year, especially when we look back at what has been achieved. From the historic summit on the Korean Peninsula, followed by a landmark handshake in Singapore, to the demilitarized zone established in Syria, we saw what diplomacy can do. While in South Sudan, its warring leaders are trying to restore peace to the world's youngest country.
A declaration of peace was signed after Kim Jong Un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) met Moon Jae-in of South Korea in Panmunjom. They vowed to put an end to the Korean War and pledged to work towards denuclearization. Since then, the DPRK's nuclear site was dismantled, Korean families separated by war reunited, and Moon even made a trip to Pyongyang to boost bilateral ties.
"We're prepared to start a new history and we're ready to write a new chapter between our nations," said U.S. President Donald Trump after his meeting with Kim Jong Un on June 12. The unprecedented summit between a sitting U.S. president and a DPRK leader may not have delivered a quick solution to the DPRK nuclear issue, but is clearly a significant development considering their previous exchange of threats.
In Syria, roads have been revamped and refugees have begun to return. Though the situation there is still complicated, a Russia-Turkey brokered demilitarized zone in Idlib has at least averted more confrontations and bloodshed between government forces and rebels.
In another country devastated by conflicts, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan reached a peace deal with rebel chief Riek Machar, aiming to end a brutal five-year civil war. The crisis has killed tens of thousands and forced an estimated 2.2 million South Sudanese into exile.