(National Sentinel) Peace: North and South Korea appear set to bring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War by signing an official peace treaty ahead of historic meetings planned for next week.
Hostilities in the three-year conflict began when about 75,000 North Korean soldiers invaded the South on June 25, 1950. U.S. troops were sent in a month later, and eventually, China intervened on behalf of the North Koreans. More than 38,000 U.S. troops were killed and another 100,000 wounded. Some 5 million people died, about half of them civilians.
The war ended when the adversaries signed an armistice on July 27, 1953. The two Koreas have been in a technical state of war since.
The new peace treaty announcement comes ahead of a summit planned for next week between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. President Donald J. Trump has agreed to meet with Kim in May in what will become the first meeting between leaders of the two countries since the war.
As reported by CNBC:
Ahead of a summit next week between North Korean premier Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, lawmakers from the neighboring states were thought to be negotiating the details of a joint statement that could outline an end to the confrontation.
Kim and Moon could also discuss returning the heavily fortified demilitarized zone separating them to its original state…
Kim has been on a charm offensive, of sorts, since before the Winter Olympics began earlier this year, which were held in South Korea.
The principal issue for the U.S. is denuclearization; the Trump administration isn’t expected to settle for anything less than the North’s full nuclear disarmament.
However, it’s not at all clear that Kim, who sees nuclear weapons as the ultimate deterrent weapon he can use to remain in power, is willing to let them go. Also, for Kim, he is likely to push for the removal of all U.S. troops from South Korea, especially if a formal peace treaty is signed, which may prove to be a sticking point for the Trump administration.
For decades negotiations with the North Koreans have proven fruitless. In 1994 the Clinton administration signed the Agreed Framework which sought to entice the North Koreans to abandon nuclear weapons research in return for energy supplies and peaceful nuclear technology.
The North Koreans broke the agreement and secretly continued developing their weapons program, which was beginning to mature by the early 2000s.
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