North and South Korea are reportedly in talks to announce plans for the end of Korean War at the upcoming inter-Korean summit, according to South Korea’s Munhwa Ilbo, citing an anonymous official.
As the Korean War concluded with a ceasefire agreement and not a peace treaty, the two sides have technically been at war for decades, but the leaders of the North and South are expected to negotiate a joint statement in pursuit of a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The objectives for the major April 27 summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in is the reduction of tension and the end of military confrontation through the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a permanent peace, and positive steps toward improved relations between the North and South, South Korean Presidential Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok revealed Tuesday, according to Japan’s NHK.
There are reports that a major aspiration is the return of the heavily-fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) would cease to exist.
It remains unclear at this time whether or not such an ambitious agenda can be achieved given the uncertainty of North Korean demands, which could potentially include the removal of strategic American military assets from South Korea, halting the deployment of nuclear or strategic assets during joint military exercises with South Korea, assurances that the U.S. will not conduct a conventional or nuclear attack, the conversion of the armistice agreement into a peace treaty, and normalized diplomatic relations between Washington and Pyongyang.
The meeting between Kim and Moon, the third inter-Korean summit, will likely pave the way for talks between Kim and President Donald Trump in May or June.
While North Korea says it is committed to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, it seems unlikely that Kim will forfeit the weapons ensuring regime survival. Furthermore, it should be noted that permanent peace between the North and South was brought up at the 2000 and 2007 inter-Korean summits, but the two meetings failed to produce lasting results.
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