Inter-Korean Dialogue and Cultural Memory Practices


  • Katrine Emilie Brandt


The Inter-Korean Summit of 27 April 2018 reinstated dialogue between North and South Korea after a decade of little diplomacy between the two states. In doing so, it drew significant international media attention. Heavy debates on how to interpret both the meeting itself and the prospects of further peace negotiations were raised. Among the spectators, several critics argued that the summit was merely an exercise in symbolism. This article aims to challenge this perception because it disregards the important dynamics of the negotiation process that took place. Using a Cultural Memory Studies approach, this study sets out to demonstrate the significance and complexity of the memory negotiations that took place during the summit. The study looks at some of the internal remembrance processes and employed modes of addressing the past. Furthermore, it investigates how the two actors of diplomacy temporarily altered the dominant “mode of remembering” their past and, through this, recontextualised inter-Korean relations within the time and space of the meeting. More specifically, this study examines how cultural artefacts and different forms of cultural memory in performative acts can be said to have created a “civil space” within which diplomatic talks were enabled.




How to Cite

Brandt, K. E. (2020). Inter-Korean Dialogue and Cultural Memory Practices. Asia in Focus, (Issue 8), 6–15. Retrieved from