Is This The End Of The Korean War?

Noel Mikkelsen, Layout Artist

The Korean War is one of today’s longest lasting conflicts. It was a war between the two countries: North Korea and South Korea. The North was backed by the USSR and China while the South gained supported from the United States. It began in the summer of 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea. The war was fought along the border of the two nations over the course of about three years. Each side would constantly get a leg up on one another and for a moment it seemed like none would prevail. In 1953, however, a ceasefire agreement was signed, finally ending the many bloody battles. The Korean War has never officially come to a close and the war is still technically ongoing with what seemed like no clear end in sight, until now.

For the first time in 64 years, the Korean Peninsula may finally enter an era of peace. On April 27th, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the Demilitarized Zone where they both stepped into each other’s territories and shook hands as a sign of friendship. This was the first time a North Korean leader set foot in the South’s boundaries since the war. They spoke and later signed a document called the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula. This commits the two nations to denuclearize the peninsula and begin talks of formally ending the Korean War.

Many prominent figures such as UN Secretary General António Guterres and even Donald Trump have applauded the historic moment. In a statement Guterres said, “Moved by the powerful imagery…salutes the courage and leadership that resulted in the important commitments and agreed actions outlined.” This most recent inter-Korean summit has also changed the opinions of the citizens living in South Korea. According to Time Magazine, “nearly 80 percent of South Korea say they trust Kim Jong Un.” This is a significant change in viewpoints from the mere 10 percent of South Koreans who approved of the North’s leader only a month and a half ago.

This is such an amazingly historic moment and it could mean the end of a high tension peninsula. Hopefully North and South Korea can come to an agreement and finally turn the friction-filled DMZ into a peaceful landmark. In a world where many people feel scared and helpless at what has been transpiring over the last year and a half, this event is a much needed boost in morale.