Trump and Kim's meetings' effect on Korea

ABC News' Juju Chang reflects on visiting Seoul after the first summit.
5:56 | 02/28/19

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Transcript for Trump and Kim's meetings' effect on Korea
With translators present and the North Korean foreign minister secretary of state Mike Pompeo and expanded bilateral meeting. That is set to produce something in the next several hours before president from. Is wheels up from Vietnam to return to the United States we're joined by ABC news Nightline anchor juju Chang. You're in Seoul one a year ago after the first summit in in Singapore. This stunning arc in the US North Korea relationship house being viewed. The perception back then was one of elation it was. And historic turning point that happened with lightning speed right we went from rocket man. And to ranged insults to each other to suddenly Brit making history the first American president meeting with the leader of North Korea. And as we joked back then it was as if peace broke out on the Korean Peninsula. And yet a year later you see a tremendous non of skepticism right not only are there. You know reports issued by official bodies saying that north Koreans are cheating. But you look at South Koreans in general and by extension the South Korean pastor around the world like Korean Americans. Who look at it and say you know we are watching three generations. Of this brutal dictatorship annaly and they have skirted sanctions they've broken the rules they've. They've defied every international norms so why are we taking them seriously. And then there's a question of should we should we take for granted what else is about to be signed right there's a lot of talk of a a peace declaration right because the Korean War didn't end with a formal peace treaty so then it raises the question will what do you replace that with. Will kind of non aggression pact or what kind of treaty will common but in the meantime if you look where South Korea is now. After the war South Korea was a basket case was one of the poorest economies in the in the world now it's the eleventh largest economy and it the worst North Korea. The annual income a bit South Korean is like 38000. Dollars a year vs North Korea which is 1700. Means. You talk about defectors coming to the south and they are on average three inches shorter. Because of the starvation and has been her base I you talked to some of those defectors I. I wonder how they must be viewing what is going on. The idea of human rights has been largely absent from the negotiating table both on this summit but also the inter Korean summits as well. And so there's a lot of heartache among the defector community because they will tell you. Stories that will may cure. A hair stand on and they talk about their families being imprisoned. Executed tortured raped just for fleeing or just watching. Western broadcast. For you know crimes against the state thought crimes right so this is a an incredibly brutal dictator who. Has been known to assassinate close rivals. On not to mention the opposition. And yet there's a lot of you know of optimism at the end of the day because. They want a peace declaration they want stability but if you look at the approval rating of the South Korean president Wednesday and came in and a year ago with this summit his approval rating was. 80%. Right and historic high no one Everett seen anything like it. And yet now if you like it is it's dipped below 50% and a lot of that is. Based on the the domestic economy and this idea that like okay what have you done for me lately and and where is this really gonna go. Not like Americans and aren't exactly right and you think about. What a peace declaration means for south Americans and again by extension Korean Americans in general. A snub south Americans but South Koreans are. It it imply is that there would be a draw down of US troops right we know 30000 American troops stationed in in South Korea. An and what kind of a destabilizing effect that might be if we put too much trust into a dictator that they've never really. And the president has already said that taking troops out is. At least for now off the table and although I guess you never know what's going on behind you never know because at the end of the last summit in June that president trump suddenly announced the cessation of exercises joint military exercises between the US and South Korea. That was a big gift to North Korea and it took. His own advisors by surprise as well as the South Korean government so there's a this fear that like what's he gonna do he always talks about draw down of troops. You know South Korea's costing us XX billions of dollars. But you know suck also sees itself. And seized by extension the North Korean leader as like. A crazy uncle right. Bet that they didn't really take seriously when I would travel around South Korea the B like you Americans you take Kim Jung on too seriously like we think of him as a both alone as that's South Koreans would tell me. They also say that like decay pop industry alone is a five billion dollar. You know industry we are a cultural export of South Korean soap operas we are you know between Samsung and Hyundai you know global power the eleventh largest economy in the world. And North Korea is an economic backwater. And so. You know on some level the only thing that. It gives them power. North Korea is the nuclear warheads and the ICBM technologies and so. That the real thinking among people in realpolitik and an arms control is why would he gives up. And the idea of denuclearization. Is really something that's happening. You're just great to see you it's just CEO ABC news Nightline anchor juju Chang weather says we await some results from this expanded bilateral meeting between president trump in North Korea's. Kim Jong.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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