North and South Korea are preparing to announce a permanent end to their war – which has run since 1950April 17, 2018
- North and South Korea may finally end the Korean War which started in 1950
- War did not technically end in 1953 as sides agreed to a truce, not peace
- Kim Jong-Un and President Moon Jae-in are due to meet next week
- Kim spent the weekend celebrating Day of thew Sun – his grandfather’s birthday
The two Koreas are technically still at war as the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.
South Korean media reports that the two sides had been discussing plans for a permanent end to the war at the North-South summit, citing an unidentified Seoul official.
Making friends: Kim Jong-Un and his wife Ri Sol-Ju pose with the cast after enjoying the ballet choreodrama ‘Red Women Company’ performed by a Chinese art troupe at the East Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang, North Korea, in celebration of Day of the Sun
Kim is scheduled to make history when he meets President Moon at a summit just inside South Korean territory on April 27.
He will be the first North Korean leader to step on South Korean soil since the 1950s.
The two Koreas may also discuss pulling some of their forces away from the heavily fortified demilitarized zone separating them, the newspaper said.
Kim is also due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in May or early June – if the U.S. leader is to be believed.
However, White House officials are still skeptical of the anti-American dictator’s sudden diplomatic efforts.
All cheers: Kim, seen with wife Ri and Song Tao, head of the International Department of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, is said to be ready for a Korean peace
Kim will become the first North Korean leader to set foot on South Korean soil since the 1950s when he meets President Moon at a summit just inside South Korean territory on April 27
Show must go Jong: Kim, his wife, and Mr Song watch the ballet performance on honour of the birthday of Kim’s grandfather and founder of North Korea Kim Il-Sung
Last week, Secretary of State nominee CIA Director Mike Pompeo said North Korea should not expect rewards from talks until it takes irreversible steps to give up its nuclear weapons.
Kim meanwhile, spent the weekend celebrating ‘The Day of the Sun’, the birthday of his grandfather Kim Il Sung, by watching a performance by a Chinese ballet troupe along with wife Ri Sol-Ju.
Unlike previous years, the annual celebrations did not include the military parades displaying ballistic missiles often associated with the dictatorship, and the festivities had a reconciliatory overtone as shown by the invitation of a Chinese dance group.
Photos released by state media showed no weapons but instead a weekend of performances, fireworks, dancing and sports.
Kim and his wife were seen applauding, posing with dancers, and laughing with the head of the Chinese Communist Party’s international liaison department, Song Tao.
Kim, in a meeting with Song on Sunday, said he was personally meeting the visiting performers out of respect for Chinese President Xi Jinping and said he wanted to launch a ‘fresh phase of development’ of relations between their countries.
North Korea´s ties with China, its sole major ally, had become strained over the past couple of years over the North´s contentious missile and nuclear tests, which China disapproves of.
But in late March, Kim made a visit to Beijing, his first known journey abroad since he took power in 2011.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CONFLICT BETWEEN NORTH KOREA AND SOUTH KOREA
In June 1950 fighting broke out between the communist North and capitalist South, sparking a brutal war that killed between two and four million people.
Beijing backed Pyongyang in the three-year conflict, while Washington threw its support behind the South — alliances that have largely endured.
The Koreas have been locked in a dangerous dance ever since that conflict ended in 1953 with an armistice rather than a formal peace treaty, leaving them technically at war.
Pyongyang has tested the fragile ceasefire with numerous attacks.
The secretive nation sent a team of 31 commandos to Seoul in a botched attempt to assassinate then-President Park Chung-Hee in 1968. All but two were killed.
In the ‘axe murder incident’ of 1976, North Korean soldiers attacked a work party trying to chop down a tree inside the Demilitarized Zone, leaving two US army officers dead.
Pyongyang launched perhaps its most audacious assassination attempt in Myanmar in 1983, when a bomb exploded in a Yangon mausoleum during a visit by South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan. He survived but 21 people, including some government ministers, were killed.
U.S. Marines covering the road leading to the front lines in South Korea in 1950
In 1987 a bomb on a Korean Air flight exploded over the Andaman Sea, killing all 115 people on board. Seoul accused Pyongyang, which denied involvement.
The North’s founding leader Kim Il-Sung died in 1994, but under his son Kim Jong-Il it continued to prod its southern neighbor.
In 1996 a North Korean submarine on a spying mission ran aground off the eastern South Korean port of Gangneung, sparking 45-day manhunt that ended with 24 crew members and infiltrators killed.
A clash between South Korean and North Korean naval ships in 1999 left some 50 of the North’s soldiers dead.
In March 2010 Seoul accused Pyongyang of torpedoing one of its corvette warships, killing 46 sailors. Pyongyang denied the charge.
November that year saw North Korea launch its first attack on a civilian-populated area since the war, firing 170 artillery shells at Yeonpyeong. Four people were killed, including two civilians.
North Korea has steadfastly pursued its banned nuclear and ballistic missile programs since its first successful test of an atomic bomb in 2006, as it looks to build a rocket capable of delivering a warhead to the US mainland.
Its progress has accelerated under leader Kim Jong-Un, culminating in its sixth and biggest nuclear test in September 2017.
Kim has since declared the country a nuclear power.
Despite the caustic effect of clashes and the battery of conventional weapons that the North has amassed at the border to threaten Seoul, the two nations have held talks in the past.
Then North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il held two historic summits with counterparts from the South in 2000 and 2007, which eased tensions between the neighbors.
Lower-level talks since then have been much hyped but failed to produce significant results.