U.S and North Korea take first step to signing peace treaty

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : June 12, 2018, 18:12 | Updated : June 12, 2018, 18:51

[AP/Yonhap News Photo]

SINGAPORE -- Through their historic summit in Singapore, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took their first step toward forging a lasting peace regime which would rid the Korean peninsula of a second war or potential armed and nuclear conflicts.

A joint statement signed by the two leaders reads that the two countries will work together to build a "lasting and robust peace regime" on the peninsula, which remains divided by the world's last remaining Cold War frontier.

At an inter-Korean summit in April, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to end hostilities and push for a peace treaty that would end the status of war on the peninsula and replace a fragile armistice signed at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Signing a peace treaty has been a key subject at inter-Korean talks because North Korea wants a non-aggression accord with the United States to ensure the security of its regime. Some 28,000 U.S. troops have been stationed in South Korea under a mutual pact and North Korea regards joint military exercises between South Korean and the United States as a great security threat.

For many people abroad, the Korean War has been forgotten, the armistice agreement is still in effect. "Yet while the armistice was agreed, the war never ended to this day. But now we can hope that it will soon end. And it will. It will soon end," Trump said at a news conference. 

In their declaration in April, Moon and Kim unveiled a timetable to sign a peace treaty this year, calling it "a historical task that can not be delayed any longer".

To convert the armistice into a peace treaty, the two leaders agreed to push for three-way talks involving the two Koreas and the United States or a four-way meeting involving the two Koreas, China and the United States. South Korea was not a signatory to the armistice agreement.

Moon described the peace treaty as "a very important agreement that can fundamentally change the international order" around the Korean peninsula. However, the inter-Korean agreement should be endorsed by other relevant countries including the United States and depends on how to realize denuclearization.

The Demilitarized zone (DMZ), a buffer zone which bisects the Korean peninsula, was set up under the truce accord. Moon and Kim decided to turn the zone into a truce peace zone by implementing previous accords signed at the second inter-Korean summit in 2007.

At previous talks, the two Koreas have discussed the same subject or signed accords on ending hostilities, but they were back to square one because Pyongyang always insisted on a separate non-aggression accord with Washington.

Trump insisted that Kim wants to engage with the world. "There's no limit to what North Korea can achieve when it gives up its nuclear weapons and embraces commerce and engagement with the rest of the world," he said.  

Much work remains to be done because the border has been heavily fortified with concrete walls, electric fences, landmines and more than 200 guard posts set by the two sides. The two sides agreed to hold regular military talks, starting with a general-level meeting next month.

© Aju Business Daily & www.ajunews.com Copyright: All materials on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the authorization from the Aju News Corporation.
기사 이미지 확대 보기