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Hostilities on the Korean peninsula ended on July 27, 1953, but the war didn’t.
On that day, the U.S., North Korea and China signed an armistice agreement designed to “insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved,” according to the agreement.
Sixty-four years later, the war has never been officially declared over.
Now, though, North and South Korea are reportedly in talks to permanently end the war, daily newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported Tuesday, according to CNBC.
Ahead of a summit next week between North Korean premier Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, lawmakers from the neighboring states were thought to be negotiating the details of a joint statement that could outline an end to the confrontation.
Kim and Moon could also discuss returning the heavily-fortified demilitarized zone separating them to its original state, the newspaper said.
Pyongyang and Seoul have technically been at war since the 1950-1953 Korean conflict ended with a truce — and not a peace treaty. Geopolitical tensions have occasionally flared up since the armistice, although to date both countries have managed to avoid another devastating conflict.
President Trump and the North Korean dictator are set to hold talks as early as next month.
North Korea has been softening its rhetoric of late. Reuters reported late last month that the North Korean leader has pledged his commitment to denuclearization and to meet U.S. officials.
“It is our consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il,” Kim Jong Un said, according to Xinhua. Kim is currently in China for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Trump has pressed North Korea since taking office in January 2017. Moreover, he’s pushed China to do more about its belligerent neighbor, and taken some actions seen as overkill, like enacting tariffs on Chinese goods. But Trump’s efforts appear to have paid off, at least at this point.
China and North Korea have also met, which drew praise from Trump.