Opinions

Is the Korean War over?

North and South Korea have been in a state of war since the Korean War began in 1950. Recently, South Korea confirmed its intentions to reopen negotiations with North Korea to finally end the war after almost 70 years.

The United States is also taking part in these negotiations, hoping the North will relinquish its nuclear arsenal. This treaty, if finalized, will effectively reduce tension between the two Koreas as well as with the United States.

South Korea’s Director of the National Security Office Chung Eui-yong is planning a meeting with President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton, a known  conservative, with war-hawk leaning tendencies, and the North’s leaders.

This is the first time North Korea, South Korea and the United States will be together in the same room. The North will expect security guarantees in exchange for surrendering its nuclear programs.

Trump said he approved the idea of a peace treaty and confirmed that he had sent Mike Pompeo, then director of the CIA who is currently in the process of being confirmed for secretary of state, to meet the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to plan the upcoming talk in May or early June.

It has been effective and for the first time in history, the U.S. president will be meeting a North Korean leader.

South Korean officials want the United States to show a united front on denuclearization as a precursor to the treaty. However, Chinese officials want the United States to discuss such matters with them first before rushing off to sign any peace treaty. China is supportive of a peaceful conclusion to the war but is upset over the current trade spat with the United States.

“If the two countries cannot settle the trade issues, that will have a significant impact on China’s attitude toward helping the United States on North Korea,” said Cheng Xiaohe, a North Korea expert at the Renmin University of China in Beijing. The United States should respect Chinese concerns and inform China on the path it will choose moving forward.

Kim expressed his concerns about American troops on Southern soil, and, therefore, he refused to denuclearize. However, a partial withdrawal is possible. If the United States removes a certain number of American troops, especially from the heavily armed border, it would gain trust and respect from the North.

If the North breaks that trust and attacks the South, the United States then has every right to take military action against
North Korea.

According to The New York Times, former South Korean Minister of Unification Lee Jong-seok said, “I am quite sure that if relations between North Korea and the United States improve, the North will not demand the withdrawal of American troops in signing the peace treaty.” It has been reported that Kim wants to shift the North’s economy away from nuclear weapons.

Trump should lean on his expertise in economics to help shape the peace process and economic prosperity across all Asia, which would strongly benefit the United States in the long term.

The peace treaty must take effect immediately to bring peace on the Korean Peninsula once and for all.

May 3, 2018

About Author

May Khin


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *