What's next after North-South Korean leaders' meeting?

STANFORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Scholars in general thought it was good theater as the leaders of the two Koreas interacted Thursday (Friday in Asia), which was shown widely around the world. They appeared to have cordial talks without the need for translators.

But the question is what happens next? That was the focus of a panel of experts at Stanford's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.

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"Really what it boils down to for me in a sense, there is a possibility for us to avoid the possibility of a larger conflict," said Philip Yun, executive director of Ploughshares Fund. " t's worthwhile to explore and move forward."

The motivation for a peace accord by North Korea's Kim Jong-un may have something to do with North Korea's nuclear test site. Chinese geologists say testing in tunnels has caused the mountain above to collapse, ending its operation.

"That was probably in his calculation of what could be some early returns he could offer to show good faith, if it is good faith, and to try to get this process going," said Kathleen Stephens, a Stanford fellow and the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea during President Obama's first term.

A meeting is in the works between President Trump and Kim, which experts predict will be carefully choreographed for TV audiences around the world.

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"I wouldn't be too surprised if Kim Jong-un actually handed over five bombs to Trump, and then they can stage the biggest reality show in history," said Professor Gi-Wook Shin, director of Stanford's Asia-Pacific Research Center.

Asia scholars also are concerned how South Korea, North Korea and the U.S. Will handle any collapse in the effort toward denuclearization and the creation of peace accords.

Going forward, there is a sense of optimism but also a sense of caution. If there isn't some progress soon, the situation on the Korean peninsula could go back to square one.

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