For the first time since the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement was signed, there's a very real chance that a formal peace treaty might be negotiated to end this decades-long Cold War conflict. Whether one wants to laud Trump's muscular so-called "Twitter diplomacy" about his "big red button" or the comparatively more peaceful efforts of his two Korean counterparts, it's unmistakable that tangible progress is finally being made on this issue, especially after Kim Jong-Un met with President Moon Jae-In last week and agreed to complete denuclearization. Their joint declaration also spoke about the need to officially end the war and therefore received astoundingly positive coverage in the global press.
While most of the world is still swept away with euphoria, however, analysts are seriously wondering how all of this will play out in practice, seeing as how it's always the implementation of these sorts of grand agreements where things start to get tricky. New US National Security Advisor John Bolton controversially suggested that North Korea could follow the so-called "Libyan model", which immediately drew scorn among some who rightly noted that Pyongyang has used that country as an example many times in the past of why it wouldn't ever get rid of its nukes, but then again, Kim Jong-Un surprisingly had nothing to say about this ordinarily provocative proposal and seems perfectly willing to go along with it.
Denuclearization aside, which itself is a globally important issue, there's also the topic of formalizing peace between the two Koreas and their allies, which includes the US, the UN, and unofficially, even China. Both Koreas dismantled their propaganda loudspeakers that were previously aimed against the other along the DMZ, but much more work than that goodwill gesture will have to be done if peace is to sustainably prevail. Should everything miraculously proceed without a hitch, then the inevitable question of the US military presence in South Korea will arise, as will the fate of North Korea's massive military too, which could lead to unforeseen challenges for both Koreas after they've come to depend on these forces for decades.
All of these factors come together to illustrate that contemplating peace isn't as idyllically simple as it may seem, and that any further progress on this issue will require serious thinking about all the strategic variables.
Andrew Korybko is joined by David Hungerford, Veteran grassroots activist and self-taught Marxist economist, Haneul Na'avi, a contributing writer on political economy and geopolitics for The Duran.
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