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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a speech in Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a speech at a celebration of the 76th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party, in Pyongyang, Oct. 10, 2021 (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service photo via AP).

North Korea’s Push for Reunification Isn’t Just Empty Rhetoric

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021

In the final months of his single term in office, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is making a strong push to formally end the Korean War. As part of his efforts, Moon is reportedly seeking a summit between the leaders of the four main participants in the conflict—the United States, China and the two Koreas—to coincide with the Winter Olympics in Beijing. In response, the North has signaled its openness to the proposal, provided its conditions are met. 

Setting aside for a moment the policy debate over whether that would be a good idea, it is worth considering the logical end of such a peace treaty: Korean reunification. While many in the West assume reunification of the two Koreas would occur on Seoul’s terms, history and recent developments on the peninsula suggest that might not be the case. Since the Korean War ended with a truce in 1953, North Korea has never given up its goal of reunifying the peninsula on its own terms. ...

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