Remaining step is replacing current 1953 armistice agreement to peace treaty
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Remaining step is replacing current 1953 armistice agreement to peace treaty

November 17, 2019

Many North Korea watchers are still wondering
how the success of the North Korea-U.S. summit will be measured. Starting the process of sealing a peace treaty
ending the Korean War would be a sizable achievement, but how could it be done… and how long might
it take? Park Ji-won takes a closer look. If a declaration ending the Korean War is
made within the year,… the next step would be to replace the 1953 Armistice Agreement
with a peace treaty. If that’s the case, the first question that
arises is which countries would be the signing parties? Experts say that, as a peace treaty is a completely
separate legal agreement from a ceasefire,… the signing parties do not have to be the
same as the ones that signed a truce agreement. They explain an armistice or ceasefire agreement
is where parties just agree to temporarily stop fighting,… thus usually the commanders-in-chief,
not the governments,… are the signing parties. The Korean War Armistice Agreement, for example,
was signed by the Commander-in-Chief of the UN Command, and the commanders of North Korea
and the Chinese People’s volunteers. Experts explain a potential peace treaty,
by definition, could be signed by the two Koreas only, but for the effectiveness of
such a treaty,… it would most likely have to include the U.S. The matter of including other countries like
China or Japan is a matter of choice,… experts say,… if it’s considered to be beneficial
to include them as signing parties. Regarding the substance of a possible peace
treaty,… experts say diverse issues would have to be addressed,… ranging from changing
the current de-facto land and maritime borders — the DMZ and Northern Limit Line — to a
different role for U.S. forces in South Korea. Although the matter of U.S. forces stationed
in Korea is determined by the 1954 Mutual Defense Treaty between Seoul and Washington,…
experts say the role of U.S. forces could change. “A peace treaty would have to deal with big
issues, including changing the DMZ and NLL to a formal border, both Koreas recognizing
each other as states under international law and a modified role for U.S. forces in Korea,
presuming they stay here,… if a peace treaty is signed.” Drawing up a clever dispute settlement body,…
is also expected to be one of the main topics of a potential peace treaty,… through which
major inter-Korean conflicts could be resolved. Another issue that concerns the international
community is North Korea’s atrocious human rights record. “If there is a progress on the negotiations
and the denuclearization talks, and even if it’s a peace treaty which finishes this state
of ceasefire that is currently in the Korean peninsula, the international community and
those who are negotiating closely with the DPR Korea will have to put on the table the
issue of these camps. Experts say any peace treaty would probably
take two to three years, possibly even six or seven years,… considering the sheer volume
of issues that would have to be addressed and the number of parties involved. Park Ji-won, Arirang News.

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