Eventually, all bad things come to an end. After 68 years of divisiveness which almost culminated in an outbreak of war in the Korean Peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-In and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un appear headed toward peace.
Reports are coming out from both sides that North and South Korea are planning to make a joint announcement during their scheduled summit on April 27. Word from unidentified sources is that both Koreas will formally announce an end to their war which has lasted 68 years.
President Moon and North Korean leader Kim are scheduled to hold the historical summit at the village of Panmunjon which is a demilitarized sector at the border of South and North Korea.
The conflict between South and North Korea has its origins deeply rooted in the Korean war of 1950 to 1953. Although it had ended with a truce, relations between the two Koreas have been less than cordial. There have been occasional flare ups but so far, conflict has not erupted in an all-out war between the two countries.
However, tensions were at their highest toward the final quarter of 2017. North Korea continued to run tests on its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program. The tests featured missile launches that threatened South Korea and Japan.
Joint military exercises in the Peninsula between the United States and South Korea made the situation more stressful. North Korea viewed the joint military exercises as a threat to its sovereignty.
The United Nations’ decision to impose more economic sanctions and U.S. President Donald Trump’s forceful rhetoric, insults at Kim by referring to him as “Rocket Man” put the world on edge as Kim continued to issue directed at the United States, South Korea and Japan.
However, a respectful gesture from President Moon to invite Kim and North Korea to the Winter Olympic Games thawed frosty relations.
If the summit is successful at forging lasting peace between South and North Korea, it could open up the possibility of a meeting between President Trump and Kim. Although the meeting had been discussed, it has not been confirmed by North Korea.
John Delury, Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at Yonsei University in Seoul, believes peace between the two Koreas can be achieved:
“Ending the state of conflict is the core of the whole thing. Peace is as complicated as denuclearization. There also has to a process of actually delivering the peace.”
President Moon’s Chief of Staff, Im Jong-Seok told news media that South Korea may travel to Pyongyang before the summit to confirm Kim’s intent to denuclearize:
“Even though our special envoys confirmed his denuclearization will, it is entirely different if the two leaders confirm it directly among themselves and put that into text.”