DAMASCUS, SYRIA (10:20 AM) – Despite the ongoing aggressive tone between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), it seems as though there is a thaw in relations between the two governments on the Korean Peninsula, as they have scheduled an official set of talks to take place on Tuesday.
Delegates from both sides, the DPRK and South Korea, are scheduled to meet at 10 am on Tuesday in the village of Panmunjon, in the demilitarized border zone between the two.
The negotiations were agreed upon on Friday, after a joint US-South Korean military drill that was planned to take place provocatively close to the border, was delayed. According to Seoul’s minister of Unification Cho Myoung-Gyon, the talks are intended to “prepare for discussions on the issue of separated families and ways to ease military tensions.”
The Korean War, which de facto ended in 1953, officially was never really resolved, as the fighting was ended with a indefinite armistice rather than by a real peace treaty. Hence, many families are still separated by the de facto border between the North and the South, which is a heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ).
While it is not certain what the negotiations will entail, expected is that Pyongyang will officially file for participation in the Olympic Winter Games, set to be held in the southern county of PyeongChang this year, as well as negotiating economic cooperation and diplomatic ease of tensions.
Tensions have been running high between the DPRK and the US, which maintains a massive military presence of over 20,000 troops in Seoul up to this day. US president Donald Trump has regularly threatened military conflict with the North over Pyongyang’s maintenance and expansion of a military missile and nuclear weapons programme.
The DPRK however, defends its nuclear arsenal as a sovereign right and a precautionary measure to deter any possible invasion or aggression against the country by external imperialist powers.
However, South Korean president Moon Jae-in, who is known for his more cool-headed and peaceful stance regarding relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, has now seemingly rebuffed US policy in the Korean peninsula.