With South Korea and the United States marking the seventieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950, it’s time to consider the conditions for a lasting and just peace on the Korean Peninsula. The Korean conflict was instrumental in solidifying the Cold War at both ends of the Eurasian continent. While vestiges of the Cold War have disappeared from Europe, the Cold War remains very much alive on the Korean Peninsula. Formally ending it will serve as a major catalyst in implementing a more stable security structure in and around the Korean Peninsula.
But a declaration of an end to the war based on political expediency and naïve conceptions of peace between the two Koreas isn’t going to result in real peace. The reason why a Cold War persists on the peninsula is because of the continuing threat emanating from North Korea—the world’s only communist dynasty. Armed with nuclear weapons since 2006 and with accelerating nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities, North Korea under Kim Jong-un has hardly relaxed tensions with South Korea.