The State Department has announced that they rejected to have talks North Korea over ending the Korean War after the secluded nation refused to add nuclear proliferation to the discussion.
The Korean War (1950-1953) never officially ended with a formal peace treaty, rather an armistice, which has kept tensions between the North & South extremely contentious the last 60+ years.
Here is a brief recap on the final chapter of that war from the History Channel:
In July 1951, President Truman and his new military commanders started peace talks at Panmunjom. Still, the fighting continued along the 38th parallel as negotiations stalled. Both sides were willing to accept a ceasefire that maintained the 38th parallel boundary, but they could not agree on whether prisoners of war should be forcibly “repatriated.” (The Chinese and the North Koreans said yes; the United States said no.) Finally, after more than two years of negotiations, the adversaries signed an armistice on July 27, 1953. The agreement allowed the POWs to stay where they liked; drew a new boundary near the 38th parallel that gave South Korea an extra 1,500 square miles of territory; and created a 2-mile-wide “demilitarized zone” that still exists today.
It was shortly before North Korea’s January 6th nuclear test that sent the world into a frenzy that the U.S. agreed to drop its demand that North Korea make steps to stop its nuclear program before they negotiated. They simply requested that nukes be a part of the talks. The north disagreed.
According to a State Department spokesman John Kirby, in an e-mail to Reuters on the topic of peace talks:
“To be clear, it was the North Koreans who proposed discussing a peace treaty. We carefully considered their proposal, and made clear that denuclearization had to be part of any such discussion. The North rejected our response. Our response to the NK proposal was consistent with our longstanding focus on denuclearization.”
10 days after the nuclear tests that North Korea claimed were from a hydrogen bomb, Pyongyang said that they only way they would stop the tests was if a treat be signed between China, the UN and South Korea, and that the U.S. stop their joint military exercises with the South.
This is a non starter for the U.S. who rightfully demand that the North Koreans must get serious about denuclearizing before they enter into any dialogue.
Since Kim Jong Un took power in 2011, the prospects of a peace with North Korea have taken a different turn. While President Obama made it clear he was willing to consider peace talks with the country, the North Korean leader has taken new action from past leaders.
He has increased demands and rebooted his nation’s nuclear programs in an effort to dislodge the U.S. military from South Korea and to also give him better leverage at a negotiating table. That seems to be very much in doubt however as the international community, including the U.S. have put even tighter economic sanctions on the reclusive nation.
Do you think peace will ever be achieved with North Korea or will war come before any substantial talks?