Will South and North Korea ever end war and make peace? 67th Armistice Day
Updated: 2020-07-27 05:46:54 KST
On July 27th, 1953, South and North Korea ended the more than three years of active war that tore the nation apart, agreeing to lay down their weapons and cease the hostilities.
The agreement was brokered by the United Nations Command and signed by the U.S.-led UNC and, from the other side China and North Korea.
Since then, the two Koreas have lived in a state of uncomfortable coexistence with tensions flaring up along the border every so often.
Now, 67 years later, the South and the North remain unreconciled and the future of their relations remains murky as past attempts to build peace and cooperation have largely been upended by Pyeongyang and its military provocations.
Today we discuss where the two Koreas stand and how military tensions can be resolved going forward.
Joining me is Chun In-bum, retired Lieutenant General and Commander of Special Warfare Command of the Republic of Korea Army.
We also connect with Suzy Kim, Professor of Korean History at Rutgers University.
1. General Chun: What is the significance of the July 27th anniversary? And why was it not possible to simply end the war and only have it reach a stalemate?
2. Dr. Kim: Why was it so difficult to formally end the war?
3. Dr. Kim: How's the ceasefire continuing to impact the two societies?
4. General Chun: Since then, the South Korea-U.S. military alliance has been vital to protecting regional security. But President Trump has, on various occasions, expressed doubt over the American presence on the Korean Peninsula, saying he doesn't know what U.S. troops are doing there,at least according to John Bolton's book. What would you tell him?
5. General Chun: U.S. media have reported that the Pentagon delivered options to President Trump to reduce the 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea. Is this a good idea?
6. Dr. Kim: How do you think the two Koreas could strengthen cooperation or move towards peace?
7. General Chun: South Korea and the U.S. have been planning the transfer of wartime operational control (OPCON) of South Korean forces from Washington to Seoul. What would change with the transfer, and is South Korea ready?
8. Dr. Kim: Why is it important to officially end the war?How would the two Koreas go about it? Who would be involved and what of the political complexities?
9. General Chun: Ending war, as well as starting war, is inextricably tied to politics and ideology. Should it and could it be pursued as a non-partisan agenda? And should it be prioritized over nuclear talks?
We'll have to wrap up the discussion here but it's been wonderful speaking with you both. Chun In-bum, retired Lieutenant General and Commander of Special Warfare Command of the Republic of Korea Army and Suzy Kim, Professor of Korean History at Rutgers University.