Could US-N. Korea summit lead to end-of-war declaration?

Jun 04, 2018, 10:51 am

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US President Donald Trump shows a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presented by North Korean envoy Kim Yong-chol on Friday in the Oval Office./ Source: Yonhap News

By AsiaToday reporter Choi Tae-beom 

As the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been confirmed after many twists and turns, the eyes of the world are now centered on the nuclear deal of the century to be held in Singapore on June 12.

In particular, Trump expressed the possibility of an agreement to formally end the Korean War while confirming that the summit with Kim would go ahead as planned. As a result, many forecast that the US-North Korea summit could lead to a trilateral summit talks in which South Korean President Moon Jae-in participates.
According to a diplomatic source on Sunday, likelihood is growing that President Moon Jae-in will visit Singapore, after Trump mentioned the possibility to end the war. 

President Moon had voiced hopes on May 27, the day after the inter-Korean summit on May 26, to hold a trilateral summit after the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore to discuss a formal end to the Korean War. 

However, Cheong Wa Dae has been cautious about the possibility of Moon's visit, since it is based on an assumption of the success of Trump-Kim summit and the summit is focused on denuclearization. "It's too early to conclude Moon's Singapore visit," a Cheong Wa Dae official said. 

Experts say that it is a big step forward to open the possibility of further discussion even if a declaration ending the war is made at a later point. They say it is quite possible that President Moon will be able to formally end the war in the same way he has served as a mediator between the United States and North Korea.
Speculations are a declaration ending the war could be made on either July 27, the day the armistice treaty was signed, or in mid-September, when the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly is scheduled to take place.

An end-of-war declaration is also a key measure for North Korea to guarantee its regime's security, thus it is likely to be the result of the summit. 

However, some point out that it is too early to be optimistic about the situation since it is unclear whether the gap between the two sides has been narrowed over details of implementation and methodology of North Korea's denuclearization. 

The United States is demanding North Korea not only to make a declaration of complete denuclearization but also to remove and dismantle its nuclear weapons out of the country to show more sincere process toward denuclearization. North Korea, on the other hand, claims that the U.S. should take specific steps to mitigate sanctions and to guarantee North Korea's regime security. 

Meanwhile, North Korea and the US held the fourth round of working-level meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom on the same day. The talks are expected to be fierce until the summit takes place. The U.S. delegation head and the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said on June 1 that there is still much work to be done before the summit talks.

#US-N. Korea summit #end-of-war declaration #Donald Trump #Kim Yong-chol #Kim Jong-un 
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