SEOUL | Seoul and Washington reaffirmed on Thursday their commitment to defend “the peace hard-won” on the divided peninsula, on the occasion of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.
The north Korean forces invaded the South on 25 June 1950, the starting point of a bloody conflict that killed millions, mostly civilians.
The guns are silent three years later in favor of an armistice which has never been followed by a peace treaty, which means that, technically, the two parts of the divided peninsula by the demilitarized Zone (DMZ) are always at war.
“On this day of 1950, the military alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea was born because of the need, before strengthening in the blood”, said in a joint statement u.s. secretary of Defense Mark Esper and his counterpart, south Korean Jeong Kyeong-doo.
The two allies pay tribute “to the sacrifice, bravery, and the legacy of those who have given their lives to defend freedom, democracy and prosperity” in the South.
On the site of an important battle, in the county of Cheorwon near the DMZ, a handful of veterans of the War have celebrated the event.
“It is unfortunate that the South and the North have had to live in the confrontation for a period of 70 years because of the war,” said a veteran before that of the doves being released.
The balance of this conflict there is no consensus. The ministry of south Korean Defense reported that of 520 000 North Koreans have been killed, along with 137 000 military personnel in the South and 37, 000 Americans.
Pyongyang makes a play radically different from a conflict called the North the War of liberation of the motherland, claiming to have been attacked by the South.
Historians have, however, found in the soviet archives numerous documents showing that Kim Il Sung asked Stalin’s permission to invade the South, and the other detailing the preparations for the operation.
The journal the official north Korean Rodong Sinmun released on Thursday, more than ten articles devoted to the War, including an editorial asserting that the United States ‘reduced the country to ashes”.
“A ceasefire is not peace,” he continued. “The enemy expects us to forget the 25th of June, and we dropped the guard.”
Still today, North Korea justified by the existence of an american threat to its nuclear programs, which are to be the subject of several trains of international sanctions.
Degradation of relationships
Relations between Seoul and Washington have been cooled in recent years by the statements of the american president Donald Trump, according to which the South should pay a more significant contribution to the maintenance on the peninsula of 28 500 men were supposed to protect the South Koreans from the north Korean threat.
But the allies “remain fully committed to the defence of peace hard-won on the Korean peninsula”, one can read in the press release.
This anniversary comes at a moment when relations intercoréennes have degraded substantially, two years after the start of a relaxation history had been marked by several summits between the north Korean leader Kim Jong un and south Korean president Moon Jae-in.
The north Korean regime has multiplied these past few weeks, the verbal attacks against Seoul, criticizing in particular the fact that dissidents in north-koreans based in the South send in the direction of the North of the leaflets of propaganda by means of balloons carried by the wind.
After breaking the official channels of communication, the North Korea was destroyed last week by the liaison office opened in September 2018, just north of the DMZ, which symbolized the relaxation.
His army had at the same time stated that it would undertake multiple actions against the South. These included the occupation of sites of cooperation-Korean now at a standstill, the relocation of guard posts in the DMZ or even the intensification of military manoeuvres.
But Mr. Kim has decided to suspend these plans of action the military.