In a set of picture perfect moments – heavy on the symbolic and with the direction of a propaganda master – North Korea’s Kim Jong-un walked through the demilitarised zone, across the border and into the south, where South Korea’s Moon Jae-in took the North’s leader by the hand and led him to the peace conference. What followed was another minutely choreographed set off interactions designed to hammer in the momentous nature of the occasion.

For any observer these events present great hope for the future of the Korean peninsula and the world in general. These contacts stand in stark contrast to the troubling talk of nuclear exchanges of only a few months ago, and meeting face-to-face seems infinitely better than saber rattling. However, while all the talk of future cooperation, peace talks and denuclearisation of the peninsula is extremely encouraging, the most important element of such initiatives - substance and details of concrete, actionable plans – is absent.

Furthermore, cynics and historians will be quick to point out that such ‘historic’ meetings have taken place before. Previous leaders of both Koreas have also held such theatric meetings and the images of them triumphantly holding hands are available for everyone to see. As the constant tensions of the past decades can attest, without dedicated follow-up negotiations, such meetings do not produce results on their own.

Regardless of these apprehensions, one cannot deny that this diplomatic display is a breakthrough in the politics of the region. It took concentrated efforts of world powers like China and the USA to reach this stage, and the leaders of both Koreas played an encouraging and willing role.

The stage is set- it remains to be seen if the international community can drive this initiative home.