Tour guides in North Korea have noticed that the large selection of anti-American posters, postcards and stamps that are usually found in local gift shops are now out of stock.
— NK NEWS (@nknewsorg) June 20, 2018
Analysts believe that the disappearance of the anti-American souvenirs might be linked to the recent summit that President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un held in Singapore in early June.
Simon Cockerell, who is the General Manager of Koryo Tours, said that the company “had a tour group at Panmunjom both last week and this morning, both of whom reported the absence of anti-American propaganda material.”
In addition, the souvenirs have been “replaced by items more focused on positive themes such as reunification rather than the often violent anti-U.S. images” that have been previously found.
Rowan Beard, who is a tour manager for Young Pioneer Tours, confirmed that stamp shops in Pyongyang and Kaesong and gift shops near the DMZ have removed their anti-American souvenirs that have traditionally been offered to tourists.
Only a few anti-American souvenirs are available, as Beard “still saw some postcards around, but it was a very local shop.”
Trump and Kim pledged to improve relations between the two countries during the historic summit in Singapore.
Trump has since reached an agreement with South Korea to suspend joint military exercises and “war games” on the Korean Peninsula.
“South Korea and the U.S. made the decision, as we believe this will contribute to maintaining such momentum,” South Korea’s Defense Ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo said.
The U.S. and South Korea are determined to cooperate with North Korea to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
“We consider the ongoing denuclearization negotiations with North Korea as crucial, so as long as those negotiations continue, the decision by the governments of South Korea and the United States will be maintained,” Choi added.
China is supportive of the decision to halt the military drills and feels that the decision was a “positive and constructive move.” Beijing believes that North Korean denuclearization is contingent upon the U.S. and South Korea ending the military exercises.
“We support this, we hope the relevant parties will move in the same direction to make greater efforts to promote the peace and denuclearization process for the peninsula,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
The improving relations between the U.S. and North Korea have concerned Japan that the tens of thousands of U.S. troops that are being stationed on the island could be pulled out.
Japan’s Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera believes that the two countries must continue their military drills.