2018 marked a year of breakthrough diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula as Seoul and Pyongyang strode forward together to ease military tensions and pursue joint economic projects. The peace may still be fragile, but South Koreans are optimistic.
Just months after a barrage of threats of missile strikes and personal insults had many fearing the worst, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un strode toward each other on a sultry June day in Singapore and grasped hands, vowing to upend decades of animosity and pursue a nuclear settlement.
About a month earlier, Kim walked across the cracked concrete block that marks the Korean border, the world's most heavily armed, and then, with a grin, guided a delighted South Korean President Moon Jae-in back into northern territory for a quick photo-op.
Then late in November, the Koreas destroyed 11 guard posts within 1 km of each side of their heavily fortified border and withdrew equipment and personnel, as the first step in a military pact reached in September between Moon and Kim.
A year ago, such a joint operation by some 77 officials from the two sides would have been unthinkable.
North Korea's repeated missile tests and its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September 2017, in defiance of UN and US warnings, had stirred fears of war.
But things have changed at a dramatic pace over the past 12 months.
TRT World’s Bruce Harrison reports from Seoul, South Korea.