November 6, 2019
The sides have technically been at war since the 1950s.
Seventy-one members of the National Assembly on Tuesday rolled out a resolution calling for a formal end to the Korean War.
Sponsored by Rep. Kim Kyung-hyup of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, the motion calls on the two Koreas, US and China to declare a formal end to the Korean War and to start discussing signing a peace treaty.
“Now, beyond the denuclearization talks between US and North Korea, we need to see that the declaration will help to usher in peace on the Korean Peninsula,” said Kim, the head of the parliament’s Special Committee on Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation.
The resolution urges the US and North Korea to make progress in their denuclearization talks while encouraging both Koreas to do their part to improve inter-Korean relations.
The Korean Armistice Agreement, signed by the US, North Korea and China in 1953, brought about a cease-fire on the Korean Peninsula, but the two Koreas remain technically at war. Since the signing of the armistice, heightened military tensions have often resulted in skirmishes.
At the inter-Korean summit in April 2018, President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed they would declare a formal end to the Korean War by 2018. They said they would replace the armistice agreement with a peace treaty.
However, amid rocky inter-Korean relations since then, the two leaders have yet to fulfill their promise.
South Korea’s parliament is not alone in addressing the issue. The US Congress has also recently spoken about a declaration to end the Korean War.
In July, US House Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, spearheaded the passage of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that is now pending Senate approval.
Drafted by Khanna, the amendment, for the first time in US Congress history, supports an end to the Korean War that began in 1950.
The amendment holds that the United States should achieve “the denuclearization of North Korea” and “an end to the 69-year-long Korean War.”
Before the House floor vote, Khanna explained his decision behind the amendment, saying, “It is time that we end the hostilities with North Korea through bipartisanship and find peace.”
Sixty-five representatives from the ruling Democratic Party and two lawmakers from the Justice Party signed the resolution Tuesday at the National Assembly, along with one legislator from the minor conservative Bareunmirae Party and three independents.
None of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party members, however, have put their name on the resolution.