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North Korea and South Korea, as well as the United States and China, have agreed “in principle” to officially declare the end of the Korean War, nearly seventy years after the end of hostilities, South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced, signaling a possible easing of tensions after several months of escalating arms race in the Korean Peninsula .
Main facts Despite the agreement “in principle”, Moon Jae-in admitted that progress on the issue was being held back by North Korea’s persistent objections to “US hostility” towards it. Due to this precondition, Moon Jae-in stated that the parties have not been able to sit down for negotiations on the statement. Moon Jae-in a added that the armistice in force for seven decades between the two nations was “unstable” and that an official declaration of peace could open the door to discussions with Pyongyang on its nuclear weapons program. The South Korean leader referred to this latest development during a speech in the Australian capital Canberra, where he is making a four-day official visit. Moon Jae-in also told reporters in Canberra that his government “is not considering” a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics. The global sporting event, set to begin in February, is the subject of a growing diplomatic boycott by several Western countries who have accused China of engaging in large-scale human rights abuses. The US, UK, Canada and Australia have all announced that they will not be sending any diplomatic or official representation to the event. However, according to ABC News, MoonJae-in hopes to use the Beijing games as a way to open possible summit talks with Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and other senior Korean leaders may also attend the Winter Games, the report adds.
In September, North Korean officials categorically rejected Moon Jae-in’s calls for an official declaration of the end of the war, calling it a smoke screen intended for to cover up the hostile US policy towards Pyongyang. At the time, North Korea’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song said such a statement would not help stabilize tensions, highlighting US troop and weapon deployments in the region. The Korean War of 1950 – 53 ended with an armistice between the two parties instead of a peace treaty. This means that the two nations have been officially at war for over 70 years now.
Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Siladitya Ray
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