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Paving way for peace on Korean Peninsula: declaring an end to Korean War? Updated: 2018-06-12 06:26:32 KST

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed in their summit in April to declare an end to the Korean War.
And that's something President Trump seems to be on board with.

June 8, 2018 - Reuters 4250
"We could sign an agreement. As you know, that would be a first step. It's what happens after the agreement that really is the big point. But yes, we could absolutely sign an agreement."

President Trump was referring to the possibility that he and Kim Jong-un could agree when they meet to officially end the Korean War, a conflict that's lasted over seven decades.

A peace treaty, however, is different.
That would need the approval of all parties to the original armistice signed in 1953 -- North Korea, the U.S.-led United Nations Command and China.
South Korea, of course, would need to sign any such treaty too even though it wasn't part of the armistice because then-President Rhee Syng-man was against the idea.
There is no set roadmap to peace on the Korean Peninsula, and if the war is to be ended, an expert says in fact there are different ways it could be done.

"The declaration of a war's end means the combatants declare they're not going to fight anymore. When they do that, sometimes it ends only with the declaration and other times they make a treaty or they agree upon a regime or system."

Experts say the process will begin with the two Koreas declaring an end to the war as they've said they would. They'll then be joined by the U.S. and finally China.
Once there's a peace treaty, the parties would start normalizing their diplomatic relations and cooperating in various sectors.

In any case, most observers say the old armistice has outlived its usefulness, noting that large-scale hostilities stopped a long time ago.

"Right now the relationship between the two Koreas at the international level is governed by the armistice agreement that was signed at the end of the Korean War 65 years ago. So clearly armistice is not supposed to last this long. So there is a need to replace the armistice agreement with something else. And that something else is to be the peace treaty."

Though it seems an end to the war is within reach, the pursuit of a formal peace could stumble on any number of other issues.
Cha Sang-mi, Arirang News.
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