What it would mean to end the Korean war

North and South Korea were pawns in their own war. Let them be the main actors in finally making peace.

WASHINGTON • No, the Korean War still is not over. While an armistice in 1953 ended active fighting, it was never followed by a peace treaty. This is why during their recent meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In, in addition to jointly calling for the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula, also pledged to formally conclude the war.

Much ambiguity remains about what exactly it would take to accomplish what Mr Kim and Mr Moon vowed to do, and many analysts have expressed scepticism about this diplomatic overture, pointing to a number of other supposed breakthroughs in the past that petered out. Yet this moment does seem different in at least one important respect.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2018, with the headline 'What it would mean to end the Korean war'. Print Edition | Subscribe