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Korean Leaders Vow to Make Peace by 2019, Ending a 68 Year War

Northern+Leader+Kim+Jong+Un+and+President++Moon+Jae-in+of+South+Korea+shake+hands+along+the+military+demarcation+line+at+Panmunjom.+Photo%3A+AFP+%2F+KOREAN+BROADCASTING+SYSTEM
Northern Leader Kim Jong Un and President  Moon Jae-in of South Korea shake hands along the military demarcation line at Panmunjom. Photo: AFP / KOREAN BROADCASTING SYSTEM

Northern Leader Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea shake hands along the military demarcation line at Panmunjom. Photo: AFP / KOREAN BROADCASTING SYSTEM

Northern Leader Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea shake hands along the military demarcation line at Panmunjom. Photo: AFP / KOREAN BROADCASTING SYSTEM

By Joe Mezza, Junior Editor

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In a historic peace agreement on April 26th, the two Koreas, thanks in part to the efforts of the North’s young leader, have pledged to end their war, which killed 2.5 million people in the early 1950s. The news came as a shock to many, as an uneasy (and unofficial) peace has been the norm since a ceasefire began in 1953. At a long-anticipated summit meeting in Panmunjom, North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un and Southern President Moon Jae In have agreed to not only hold peace talks within the year but to completely denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

Although the summit was an important step toward peace, there is much left to be done, and there is much that North and South Korea cannot work out without other international cooperation. For example, China and the United States must be signatories to any treaties ending the conflict, as they are still technically combatants. Additionally, the US must be heavily involved in any denuclearization agreements. For the time being, it is uncertain if any such accords will be worked out. Although Trump’s administration remains skeptical of Kim’s denuclearization promises, he was quick to tweet his support for the recent developments in Korea and will meet with Kim himself at a summit meeting between the US and the North in the coming months. The American and the South Korean presidents have expressed willingness to forgo sanctions and provide economic aid to the dilapidated, poverty-ridden North, provided they follow through on any agreement to eliminate all nuclear arms.

Some in both South Korea and the United States have credited Trump with helping to make reconciliation between the Koreas possible by maximizing pressure with frequent threats of nuclear war and tightened sanctions. President Moon even suggested that Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. Others, however, hold that Trump’s brinkmanship was too erratic and dangerous to be credited with bringing peace.

John McConeghy, a Hills Junior, says, “I’m glad that there might be peace with North Korea soon. Hopefully, Kim Jong Un actually gets rid of his nuclear weapons as well.” Senior Trevor Brooks says, “I never thought it would happen, so I’m impressed”.

Although it is too early to know what will become of the agreement, the summit meeting is an important first step towards peace.

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Korean Leaders Vow to Make Peace by 2019, Ending a 68 Year War