In a turn of events, North Korea and South Korea are reportedly ending their war. The leaders of both countries are expected to release a joint statement on April 27 during a leaders summit, according to Japan Times. This could mean denuclearization and a peace treaty. It may also signify the end of the militarized border between the North and South. Also, this step forward sets the stage for Trump and Kim Jong Un’s meeting, which is supposed to take place within the next two months or so.
Steps to end the militarization of the border of North and South Korea could end the tense concentration of armies on both sides, including U.S.-backed forces in South Korea. The two sides have heavily guarded a 2.5-mile stretch called the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ for short, since the end of the Korean War. With artillery pointed at Seoul and submarines patrolling the coast, tensions have run high for decades.
Bloomberg added that relations between the two sides became particularly strained in 2008 when North Korea denied entry to inspectors to enter their nuclear facilities.
The April summit between North and South Korea is the third time such a meeting has taken place. Meanwhile, a summit between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean leader has never happened before.
In 2007, President Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong Il met to reiterate goals from a summit in 2000. The goals then included improving the economy and working towards reunification.
The significance of the possibility of a denuclearized North Korea should not be overlooked. It was just recently that North Korea conducted heavy nuclear testing, including testing a missile that could reach the United States.
The nearly 70-year feud between the North and South can be traced back to the Korean War, which ended with an armistice between the divided nation in 1953, according to USA Today.
Earlier this year, Kim met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Kim also expressed his openness to ending his nuclear program so long as he could be assured of his country’s safety. Meanwhile, the United States and China have been going back and forth in a trade war, with both sides placing tariffs on goods.