At the end of 2017, the world’s attention was focused on the nuclear threats coming out of North Korea. Kim Jong-Un’s regime was, it seemed, poised to attack South Korea. Now, just a few short months later, North Korea and South Korea are coming together to announce the official end of their decades old war.
Dictator Kim Jong-Un and President Moon Jae-in are slated to make the official announcement next week.
As the Daily Mail notes, “the two Koreas are technically still at war as the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.” The war claimed up to 4 million lives. Americans threw their support behind South Korea, while the Soviets and Chinese backed North Korea.
Tensions from the conflict fueled the Cold War and swelled and receded ever since. Shortly before the Olympic games, the two sides began formal talks aimed at easing tensions, and the teams marched under a unified Korean flag.
Kim Jong-Un has announced a planned visit to the South, and will be the first North Korean leader to visit South Korea since the war.
The official end of the war brings hopes that tensions along the border of the two countries will ease. There are rumors that the countries are even discussing moving troops away from the demilitarized zone.
These developments have broader international implications, too. President Trump has spoken of his intentions to meet with Kim Jong-Un and has stated that an official meeting may occur as early as June.
That meeting hasn’t swayed the Trump administration from its resolve to see North Korea abandon its nuclear capabilities.
The new Secretary of State nominee, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, is taking a hard line on the Korean talks, and has reiterated that North Korea must give up its nuclear weapons.
In what might be the most noticeable sign of progress, the North Koreans are celebrating ‘The Day of the Sun’ without the traditional military parades. The holiday, meant to celebrate the birthday of Kim Il Sung, has traditionally been a chance to display the country’s military might.