The Democratic Party of Korea pushed for a resolution calling for the declaration of an end to the Korean War at a plenary session of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee on Monday. While the opposition parties requested the withdrawal of the agenda, the ruling party submitted it to the agenda coordination committee, saying that the deliberation period of the resolution has been met. The ruling party also tried to submit a resolution calling for individual tour visits to be allowed in North Korea.
The ruling party’s resolution to declare the end of the Korean War is a movement in response to President Moon Jae-in’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. A comment made on Monday by Lee Do-hoon, Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs, during his visit to the U.S. that South Korea and the U.S. will find consensus once sitting down to talk reflects the ruling party’s all-in efforts for the declaration of the end of the Korean War.
However, North Korea doesn’t seem much interested in such a declaration and the U.S. has made it clear that the declaration won’t be made when there is no progress in the denuclearization of the North. While the Moon administration would like to pursue the declaration of the end of the Korean War during its term as its political achievement and use it as a catalyst to resume the U.S.-North Korea negotiations, such an attempt will only exhaust one of the key bargaining chips with North Korea when the denuclearization of the country is in progress. Moreover, the ruling party’s push for the declaration in complete disregard of the North’s killing of a South Korean civilian only sends a wrong message to the North while amplifying internal conflicts in the South.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un apologized for the recent killing because he took the anger of South Korean citizens seriously. However, as the South Korea ruling party and the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae show such a zeal to restore the inter-Korean relations as if Kim’s apology has resolved every issue, North Korea returned to a more threatening stance, saying it was an intrusion into North Korea’s waters. The top priority of the ruling party is showing a firm determination to prevent North Korea from killing another South Korean citizen in the future, rather than blindly pursuing the declaration of the end of the Korean War.