Korean Peninsula: is a turn from armistice to peace possible?

Soundings - ISSN 1362-6620
Volume 2022 Number 80

Korean Peninsula: is a turn from armistice to peace possible?
Glyn Ford pages 97-110
DOI: 10.3898/SOUN.80.07.2022


This article explores the current prospects for peace on the Korean Peninsula. It argues that denuclearisation will be the final step in any peace process and cannot be seen as a precondition. There needs to be an understanding that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) sees nuclear deterrence as guaranteeing its survival as a country, which means that surrendering it will only be possible at the end of multilateral peace process with strong security guarantees. The rigour, robustness and resilience of the Iran Deal and its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is seen as a model. The start of talks is likely to be bilateral, but security and economics will make the later stages collective. Obstacles along the way include a lack of understanding on both sides; President Biden’s reversion to Obama’s playbook and the potential difficulties of getting any agreement through Congress; and recent elections in South Korea, which have seen the election of a hawkish President. The only good news is that, since Fumio Kishida became president any initiative by China to return to Six Party Talks is no longer stymied by Japanese intransigence. As with any peace process, there is a need for recognition by both sides that the journey is as important as the destination; an ‘End of War Declaration’, to replace the armistice, would be a good starting point.

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To cite this article
Glyn Ford (2022) Korean Peninsula: is a turn from armistice to peace possible?, Soundings, 2022(80), 97-110. https://doi.org/10.3898/SOUN.80.07.2022

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