North, South Korea mulling over plans to end Korean War
They’re ready to give peace a chance.
North and South Korea are mulling over plans to officially end the state of war that has existed on the Korean peninsula for the last 68 years.
Leaders of the two countries, which are still technically at war, are preparing for a historic meeting next week.
Ending the military tensions between the neighboring nations could become a major part of the summit between South Korea President Moon Jae-in and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified South Korean official, according to Bloomberg News.
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Pyongyang and Seoul have been at war since the 1950-1953 Korean conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.
The heavily-guarded demilitarized zone separating the countries, known as the DMZ, serves as a physical buffer and symbol of the stalemate.
Moon and Kim are slated to meet at the Freedom house in Panmunjom, a small village located in the DMZ.
Kim has reportedly told South Korean officials that he would be willing to discuss giving up nuclear weapons if his government no longer felt threatened militarily and its security was guaranteed.
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“Ending the state of conflict is the core of the whole thing. Peace is as complicated as denuclearization,” John Delury, an associate professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul told Bloomberg News. “There also has to be a process of actually delivering the peace.”
The talks follow an unusual level of positive back-and-forth between Pyongyang and Seoul during the Olympic Games in South Korea.
In February, the South allowed the North to participate in the activities and the two countries marched under a united Korean flag during the opening ceremonies.
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The reported talk of peace comes as Kim has also promised that denuclearization is on the table for potential talks with President Trump.
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A face-to-face between the two leaders is slated to take place next month.
Few details of the highly-anticipated sit-down have been released.
No sitting American president has met with a North Korean leader.
Trump is hosting Japanese prime minister Shizo Abe at his Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida this week. The pair are expected to discuss Trump planned meeting with Kim and other issues of importance to both leaders.
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