South Korean media reported that Kim Jong Un wants to sign a peace treaty after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, reviving in the process a long-held goal of the North Korean regime.
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Dong-A Ilbo newspaper said on Monday that Kim is likely to bring to the meeting the possibility of a peace treaty, along with establishing diplomatic relations and nuclear disarmament. The South Korean paper cited an unidentified senior official in South Korea’s presidential office.
Trump in principle has already agreed to what would be a historic meeting with Kim, although the crucial details of the said summit have yet to be established.
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An expert, Koh Yu-hwan who teaches North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, said that the North Korean regime has long sought a peace treaty to put a conclusive end to the more than 60-year-old ceasefire between the two sides and help guarantee its safety.
The professor added that there were prior agreements between the U.S. and North Korea to start a discussion on a peace treaty, but such never materialized. Koh explained why: “The U.S. wants a peace treaty at the end of the denuclearization process while for the North, it’s the precondition for its denuclearization.”
Koh also said that signing a peace treaty would entail confronting issues as the U.S.’s military presence in South Korea and its transfer of wartime operational control to South Korea and United Nations forces in South Korea.
The monumental meeting is tentatively scheduled for May, but a lot has to be discussed among the parties concerned including what will be discussed and where it will take place.
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South Korean President Moon Jae-in also accepted the offer of Kim to meet near their shared border later next month. It is expected that Kim will suggest for the two Koreas to resume cultural exchanges and family reunions.