Koreas expected to announce end of 68 year war
A leaders summit next week is expected to include discussion of an official end to hostilities
South and North Korean officials are discussing plans to make a stunning announcement - a permanent end to hostilities between the two nations, according to South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo.
A summit between the two countries' leaders is scheduled for next week and, citing an unidentified South Korean official, the paper says will include a potential joint statement declaring an end to the 68-years-long conflict and easing of tensions.
North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are scheduled to meet April 27 in Panmunjon, a border village, in the third-ever summit of leaders from the two Koreas.
A phone line is being established between the two men from Friday, although an actual date for the beginning of communication is unknown.
Pyongyang and Seoul have technically been at war since the 1950-1953 Korean conflict ended with a truce. A successful meeting between Moon and Kim could pave the way for one between Kim and American President Donald Trump - the first between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader.
"Ending the state of conflict is the core of the whole thing. Peace is as complicated as denuclearisation," John Delury, an associate professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul, told Bloomberg.
"There also has to be a process of actually delivering the peace," he added.
A Seoul official said Tuesday that South Korean security officials may visit Pyongyang ahead of the summit in hopes of getting Kim to reaffirm his commitment to denuclearise, Reuters reported.
"Even though our special envoys confirmed his denuclearization will, it is entirely different if the two leaders confirm it directly among themselves and put that into text," Moon’s chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, told reporters.
"We expect the summit will confirm the denuclearisation will (of North Korea)," he added.