December 21, 2020
North and South Korea—along with the U.S. and China—have agreed “in principle” to officially declare an end to the Korean war after nearly seventy years since the end of hostilities, South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced on Monday, signaling a possible cooling of tensions after several months of an escalating arms race in the Korean peninsula.
Despite the “in principle” agreement, Moon conceded that further advancement on the issue was being held back by North Korea’s continued objections to “U.S. hostility” against it.
Because of this precondition, Moon said the parties have not been able to sit down for negotiations on the declaration.
Moon added that the ongoing seven-decade long armistice between the two nations was “unstable” and a formal peace declaration could open the door for talks with Pyongyang on its nuclear weapons program.
The South Korean leader spoke about this latest development while speaking in the Australian capital Canberra, where he is on a four-day official visit.
In September, North Korean officials resoundingly rejected Moon’s calls for an official declaration to the end of the war by calling it a smokescreen to cover up hostile U.S. policy against Pyongyang. At the time, North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song said such a declaration will not help stabilize tensions, pointing to U.S. troop and weapon deployments in the region. The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice between both sides instead of a peace treaty. This has meant that the two nations have officially been in a state of war for more than 70 years now.