North Korea and South Korea Talk Peace

This Friday, South and North Korea confirmed their commitment of full denuclearization of their two countries.

Some experts say the declaration shows excellent progress that could start the groundwork for the upcoming summit between North Korea and the US. Meanwhile, others say it doesn’t how complete willingness to promise the lasting state of this declaration.

The summit between the Koreas is a sort of precursor to the one between the US and North Korea in May or perhaps early June. Then, the two nations will negotiate the nuclear weapons program in North Korea.

This announcement came with the best results for the two Koreas in looking into inter-Korean relations. The announcement breaks from past experiences with ties mostly swayed by North Korea-US and US-China relations.

President Moon of South Korea declared that  the North’s decision to end intercontinental nuclear and missile tests was very significant. The North also announced its plan to dismantle their primary nuclear test site.

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Despite the raised hopes, there are different interpretations of the Korean Peninsula’s commitment. This lack of clarity complicates the end of this nuclear deadlock.

Senior researcher at the Asan Institue for Policy Studies, Shin Beom-Chul said that while it is meaningful that Kim Jong-un brought this up himself, he did not mention the specific measures that would be taken.

Both the US and South Korea have demanded that North Korea relinquish their nuclear weapons, no exceptions. However, North Korea suggested synchronized and phased denuclearization measures.

The two Koreas also agreed to seek a permanent end to the Korean War back in the fifties, within this year. Technically, the war ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

The Korean leaders also agreed to end cross-border hostilities and return the heavily fortified demilitarized zone to its previous state.

May will see the first round of high-level military talks to facilitate the process. These talks with top military officials plan to be held regularly.

Even though the agreements show the resolve of the Korean leaders, there is still much ambiguity and controversy.

The Koreas reopened the cross-border hotline in Panmunjeom after North Korea extended an olive branch in sending athletes to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.