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US hampers South Korea's end of war plan

Frank Smith
Press TV, Seoul

South Korea has pressed forward for an official declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War. The United States has largely foiled the initiative, however, issuing fresh sanctions on North Korea. South Korea’s Unification Minister remains optimistic that there can be some new more peaceful arrangement for the region, as South Korean President Moon Jae-in nears the end of his term. 

South Korea this week continued efforts for an official declaration to end to the 1950-53 Korean War. President Moon Jae-in sought Australia’s support for the peace building effort, while his Unification Minister in Seoul told a forum that the time had come to replace the armistice with a permanent peace.

But if we just let this opportunity pass, we cannot imagine how much time will be wasted before a complete end of war on the Korean Peninsula, where strategic interests intersect so fiercely.

The United States however Friday issued further sanctions against North Korean officials and organizations, dampening South Korea’s attempts at engagement. North Korea sees hypocrisy in U.S. criticism of its military and US-led sanctions. Still some analysts believe Pyongyang is open to negotiations.

Analysts have also suggested the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics may offer a chance to bring the U.S. and North Korea together for some type of contact, but the US has announced its diplomats will boycott the games.

An official declaration to end the Korean war may offer South Korean President Moon Jae-in some tangible result from the peace-building efforts he has a taken throughout his term. But next spring will see a new president elected in South Korea, and perhaps far different policies on inter-Korean affairs.

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