The Atlantic

The Meaning of North Korea’s Remains Transfer

The Korean War never officially ended. But its participants are now chipping away at the last sources of hostility.
Source: Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

On this very date in 1953, leaders of North Korean, Chinese, and U.S.-led United Nations forces signed an armistice to halt the Korean War, vowing to convene another conference within three months to achieve “the peaceful settlement of the Korean question.” Sixty-five years later, we’re still waiting on that settlement. But on Friday, the long shadow of the war got a little bit smaller.

North Korea’s of what it says are the remains of 55 American soldiers killed during the Korean War is, as President Donald Trump , most meaningful for the families of the fallen. It is also Trump and Kim Jong Un made during their Singapore summit was to jointly recover the remains of the thousands of American service members unaccounted for from that conflict.More broadly, however, it is a small but significant step in redressing the roots of why the United States and North Korea deeply distrust each other—a war that never really ended. A bigger step would be something that the two Koreas and the United States have all expressed interest in, and that South Korean officials have could occur before the end of this year: a formal declaration by the three parties to end the Korean War, which would launch negotiations to replace the armistice with a peace treaty once North Korea gives up nuclear weapons.

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