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South and North Korea are discussing plans to announce an official end to the military conflict between the two countries that are still technically at war, the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified South Korean official.
At next week’s summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the two neighbors may release a joint statement stating they will seek to ease military tension and to end confrontation, according to the report.
No peace treaty has been signed to replace the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, and the U.S. and North Korea have been at loggerheads since formal hostilities ended. A successful summit between Moon and Kim could pave the way for a meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump — the first between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader.
The peninsula remains bisected in a perpetual stalemate, with the U.S.-backed South Korean military lined up against more than a million North Korean troops. While tensions have occasionally flared, the two sides have so far staved off another devastating conflict.
One way to resolve the conflict could involve returning the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone to its original state, the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper said. Hundreds of thousands of troops from both sides now guard the area.