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Why Ending the Korean War Won’t Be Easy

As the world commemorates the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, the Center for the National Interest’s Korean Studies team decided to ask dozens of the world’s top experts a simple question: Do you believe that the Korean War will finally come to an end before its next major anniversary in 2025? The below piece is an answer to that question. Please click here to see even more perspectives on this important topic.

There are two approaches to ending the Korean War. The first sees the armistice agreement replaced with a peace treaty once North Korea has denuclearized; the second sees the Korean War declared over in order to encourage the North to denuclearize by eliminating the stimulus for its siege mentality. In other words, the former sees the end of the Korean War as an outcome of North Korean denuclearization, while the latter sees it as a catalyst for the denuclearization of North Korea. In light of the current situation in which North Korea has become a virtual nuclear power, both of these approaches have become unfeasible since they are premised upon the notion that we can even denuclearize North Korea to begin with.

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