Progress to Peace Between North and South Korea

South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh estimates that North and South Korea have already fully implemented nine out of 25 agreement reached in a pair of summits between Korea’s leaders in April and September.

36% of the two statements implemented, 52% being deliberated

There were also two agreements (8%) that failed (holding an inter-Korean event on June 15 and a performance by a Pyongyang art troupe in Seoul in October), while there is one agreement whose implementation is contingent on other factors (deliberating the questions of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, resuming tourism to Mt. Kumgang and creating a joint economic zone on the West Sea and a joint tourism zone on the East Sea).

The inter-Korean agreements generally fall into three categories, namely inter-Korean relations, easing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and building a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. Of the three categories, inter-Korean relations by far represent the greatest number of the agreements, or 17 out of 25. For the same reason, more agreements in this category have been implemented (seven) than other categories, and more are also being deliberated (seven).

Groundbreaking for roads and railways and the end-of-war declaration within the year?

There is one-year deadline for a groundbreaking ceremony for connecting roads and railways and the end-of-war declaration. The US holds that South Korea must ask and receive approval from the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea before it can hold the roads and railways survey and groundbreaking. Currently, the South Korean government is deliberating with the US to work out this issue.

Peace regime on the Korean Peninsula depends on North Korea-US negotiations

Unfortunately, no agreements have been implemented yet in the area of building a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. This requires South and North Korea but also of Korea’s neighbors and parties to the armistice agreement, including the US and China. North Korea’s denuclearization is wholly dependent upon the results of North Korea-US dialogue.

The South Korean government is concentrating on helping the US gain a better understanding of North Korea’s position.