Divided Koreas mark 70 years since war began, but no treaty in sight
SEOUL: Seventy years after the Korean War began, prospects for a peace treaty to officially end the conflict appear as distant as ever, as the two Koreas held low-key commemorations on Thursday amid heightened tension.
The 1950-1953 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving U.S.-led U.N. forces technically still at war with North Korea.
South Korean leaders in 1953 opposed the idea of a truce that left the peninsula divided and were not signatories to the armistice.
South Korean war veterans gathered to commemorate the anniversary, including one event where U.S. President Donald Trump and other international leaders delivered video messages.
“The war isn’t really over and I don’t think peace will come while I’m still alive,” said 89-year-old veteran Kim Yeong-ho, who attended an event in the South Korean border town of Cheorwon. “The nightmares just keep coming back to me every day.”
North Korea released a 5,500-word report blaming the United States for starting the war, committing atrocities and maintaining decades of hostile policies that left Pyongyang no choice but to pursue nuclear weapons of its own.
As long as the United States clings to a “pathological and inveterate hostile policy” towards North Korea, “we will continue to further build up our strength to contain the persistent nuclear threats from the U.S.”, the Foreign Ministry’s Institute for Disarmament and Peace said in the report, which was carried by state media. - Reuters