Kim Jong Un Could Eventually End North Korea’s 68-Year War With South Korea (HBO)

Kim Jong-un is about to make history. On Friday, he will be the first North Korean leader since 1953 to cross over into South Korea’s side of the demilitarized zone that divides the two countries. And he could make even more history if he and South Korean President moon Jae-in agree to officially end a war that began in 1950 and technically never ended.

The summit between the two leaders will focus on establishing a path to denuclearization, which means finding a way to convince Kim to get rid of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. After decades of war games, missile tests, bombings, assassinations, and threats, it will likely take baby steps to get there. But if Kim agrees to formally end the Korean War, it would be a leap in the right direction.

Read: How Kim Jong Un could hide North Korea’s nukes from Trump

Much of the Korean Peninsula’s current political predicament can be traced back to how nation split apart. It wasn’t until after World War II, when the United States and Soviet Union split the country along the 38th parallel that one Korea became two.

“The division of Korea was really unprecedented and unexpected,” said Charles King Armstrong, a historian at Columbia University. “Korea had been a unified nation for well over a thousand years before 1945.”

It only took five years for a civil war to erupt and spiral into a proxy conflict over the spread of communism. The bloody fighting devastated both North and South Korea and claimed millions of lives until Kim Jong-un’s grandfather agreed to a truce in 1953, signing the armistice at the same village where Friday’s meeting will be held.

While that agreement halted the fighting, it didn’t officially end the war. VICE News spoke with Armstrong about why the Korean War isn’t actually over and the significance of the meeting between Kim and Moon.

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48 thoughts on “Kim Jong Un Could Eventually End North Korea’s 68-Year War With South Korea (HBO)

  1. You can thank China for finally pulling the plug on North Korea, effectively forcing NK to make peace with SK. China wants U.S. military presence particularly the THAAD missile defense system off the Korean Peninsula. Trumps “strong arm” tactics have very little to do with it, because they didn’t force NK to negotiate. NK doesn’t have to negotiate because they have nuclear weapons and China’s support. Trumps “strong arm” tactics were meant as a provocation to get NK to attack first to justify their destruction, which was never going to happen anyway. China is the one that ensures Kim and his regimes survival and the only one that can control NK and force them to come to terms.

  2. Just saying a thought please don't flame me for this, but isn't this a little fishy that all of the sudden Kim Jong Un just wants to make peace out of the blue? Am I the only one that's skeptical about this? What if something is being planned?

  3. We need to get Kim, moon, jinping and trump to play a multiplayer game together and if they can get through it without threatening war over another’s bad tactics and noob-level skill then we get world peace

  4. Ya know, they could be trying to trick everyone into trusting them? Also if they wanted to destroy America all they would have to do is launch a few missiles near dead hand radiation sensors in Russia which activate if radiation levels rise upon a certain level then launch all of Russia's ICBMS without any human intervention or authorization.

  5. Oh my gosh does nobody think at all? Kim Jong Un’s strategy is so simple and ingenious idk how none of you realized or noticed it. Look back through history he has done this MULTIPLE times.
    He uses missels and weapons to get the media and countries scared and freaking out, and once the media portrays him as this huge giant ruthless killer and everyone’s fearful, he uses that to his advantage to create allied countries. And the only reasons he creates allies is mainly because he cant do anything with his own country to create more wealth; so he takes advantage of the countries he allies with to manipulate them into essentially giving him money.

  6. Not even mentioning McCarthyism and the theory of stopping communism from spreading, it's not like a civil war broke out, the U.S. jumps in and now it's North vs South & U.S.A. The Chinese communists and the Soviets gave Kim aid before the civil war even started. The South was dirt poor and relied on agriculture to survive. They had no real industry. It was immediately apparent that the South were getting absolutely slaughtered, hence UN approval.

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