SEOUL (BLOOMBERG) - South and North Korea are discussing plans to announce an official end to the military conflict between the two countries that are still technically at war, the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified South Korean official.
At next week's summit between South Korean President Moon Jae In and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the two neighbours may release a joint statement stating they will seek to ease military tension and to end confrontation, according to the report.
No peace treaty has been signed to replace the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, and the US and North Korea have been at loggerheads since formal hostilities ended.
A successful summit between Moon and Kim could pave the way for a meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump - the first between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader.
The peninsula remains bisected in a perpetual stalemate, with the US-backed South Korean military lined up against more than a million North Korean troops.
While tensions have occasionally flared, the two sides have so far staved off another devastating conflict.
One way to resolve the conflict could involve returning the heavily fortified Demilitarised Zone to its original state, the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper said.
Hundreds of thousands of troops from both sides now guard the area.
To boost the chances of success in the upcoming summits, analysts say Moon and Trump need to come up with "out-of-box" solutions rather than rehashing old tactics or resorting to tried-and-true methods unlikely to sway the North.
"Many ideas have been floated in academia, such as bringing the North under America's nuclear umbrella to make it a pro-US state and pursuing a peace solution that recognizes two different political systems on the peninsula," said Park Won Gon, security expert at Handong Global University.
"They may be unrealistic, but we need to devise ways that go beyond the North's imagination. Without any creative solution, it could be difficult to anticipate a breakthrough when the North's will to denuclearise appears still weak," he was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.