Seoul, Washington Reach Agreement on Draft for an End-Of-War Treaty

Washington and Seoul have settled on a draft wording for a statement ending the 1950-53 Korean War, confirmed Foreign Minister Chung Eui-Yong during the week.

During a news briefing at the South Korean Foreign Ministry in downtown Seoul, Chung said the US and South Korea recognize the necessity of an end-of-war declaration.

South Korea’s top diplomat said he and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated this view when they convened in Liverpool, England, on Dec. 11 and 12.

Despite this, Chung stated hopes for improving inter-Korean ties at the Winter Olympics in Beijing were dimming.

Discussions Nearly Concluded

Officials in Seoul said recently that South Korea and the US did excellent work on the draft language and were nearing an agreement. A high-ranking official now officially declared end-of-war talks with Washington are nearly finished.

Bringing Pyongyang onboard is another problem; Chung admits they are looking for methods.

In his September speech to the UN General Assembly, President Moon Jae-in urged the two Koreas, the US, and potentially China, to officially conclude the Korean War.

In the following weeks, South Korean and US officials met to discuss Seoul’s post-war request to restart disarmament discussions with Pyongyang. It was signed on July 27, 1953, by the U.S.-led UN Command, North Korea, and China.

Therefore, the two Koreas are technically still at war.

In September, Kim Yo-jong-un, Kim Jong-sister, praised Moon’s peace overture, but stated Seoul and Washington must halt their aggressive policies

The COVID-19 epidemic may prohibit North Korea from visiting Beijing. The IOC barred North Korean participants from the Winter Olympics in September after they skipped the summer Games in Tokyo, due to COVID-19 worries.

Olympics Boycott

The US announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics earlier last month, meaning it would not deploy an official team to the Winter Games.

To recapitulate what happened in Pyeongchang in 2018, Seoul saw the Winter Games as a chance for nations to rekindle talks with Pyongyang.

Close US allies, notably Australia, the UK, Canada, and Japan, adopted the diplomatic boycott. However, the South Korean authorities declared they will not contemplate a boycott.

When asked what kind of Korean delegation would participate in the event, Chung told reporters Seoul is not planning a diplomatic boycott. He dodged whether Chinese President Xi Jinping invited Moon to the Olympics inauguration ceremony.

To Chung’s surprise, North Korea quickly accepted the plan for a peace proclamation. They want a more detailed response.

Chung stated his administration believes they will continue to improve ties with China, based on the Republic of Korea-US partnership regarding continuing Sino-US tensions.

On December 13, Moon declared the US, China, and North Korea agreed “in principle” to conclude the Korean War. The president underlined an end-of-war proclamation is not the end goal, but rather a beginning point for discussions on disarmament and a peace regime.

Axios reported that Kim Jong-un might get on Biden’s radar this year with a vast provocation, a charming drive, or both, possibly before the South Korean elections in March.