Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Information:

  • Access
  • Cited by 1

Actions:

      • Send article to Kindle

        To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

        Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

        Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

        An End to the Korean War: The Legal Character of the 2018 Summit Declarations and Implications of an Official Korean Peace Treaty
        Available formats
        ×

        Send article to Dropbox

        To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

        An End to the Korean War: The Legal Character of the 2018 Summit Declarations and Implications of an Official Korean Peace Treaty
        Available formats
        ×

        Send article to Google Drive

        To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

        An End to the Korean War: The Legal Character of the 2018 Summit Declarations and Implications of an Official Korean Peace Treaty
        Available formats
        ×
Export citation

Abstract

Global attention to events on the Korean Peninsula has been striking in the past year. With an inter-Korean summit and an unprecedented US-DPRK summit, hopes of a final end to the Korean War have been renewed. Although these summits resulted in declarations which pronounced an end to the Korean War and an establishment of a peace regime, the declarations must not be mistaken as official peace treaties. Unlike a peace treaty, which is governed by international law, the two summit declarations are not governed by international law due to their lack of legality. Therefore, a clear distinction must be drawn between the declarations and a peace treaty. This paper aims to determine the legal status of the declarations and explain how they are merely non-binding political declarations. The paper then identifies and explores some of the legal implications of a Korean peace treaty.

Footnotes

*

PhD candidate in Laws, Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR. I wish to thank Ms Kehinde Olaoye for feedback on an earlier draft. Errors and omissions remain my own.

Global attention to events on the Korean Peninsula has been striking in the past year. With the third inter-Korean summit in April 2018 and an unprecedented US-DPRK summit in June 2018, hopes of an end to the sixty-eight-year-long Korean War have been renewed. Although these summits resulted in declarations which pronounced an end to the Korean War and the establishment of a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, the declarations must not be mistaken as official peace treaties. Instead, they are merely political declarations that are part of the process leading up to the eventual signing of an official peace treaty. Unlike a peace treaty, which is governed by international law, the two summit declarations are not governed by international law due to their lack of legality. Therefore, a clear distinction must be drawn between the summit declarations and an official peace treaty. This paper aims to determine the legal status of the two declarations and explain how they are merely starting points for the peace-making process. The paper then identifies and explores some of the legal implications of a peace treaty on the Korean Peninsula.

I. OVERVIEW OF THE SUMMIT DECLARATIONS

The inter-Korean summit and the US-DPRK summit held in 2018 were significant events that attracted large-scale global attention. The inter-Korean summit, held on 27 April 2018, started with a handshake between South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un on the border at Panmunjom, and ended with the signing of the Panmunjom Declaration. Following the inter-Korean summit, US President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim met in Singapore on 12 June 2018 and signed a US-DPRK joint statement. The two declarations are closely interrelated, as the latter declaration built on the former declaration. During the summits, what exactly did the leaders agree on? This section will provide a brief overview of the declarations.

A. Third Inter-Korean Summit: The Panmunjom Declaration

The Panmunjom Declaration, officially titled the “Panmunjom Declaration on Peace, Prosperity, and Reunification of the Korean Peninsula”, 1 focuses on three main areas: (1) improving inter-Korean relations; (2) alleviating military tensions; and (3) establishing a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. 2

First, in the Panmunjom Declaration, the two leaders agreed on improving inter-Korean relations. The two leaders agreed that the future of the two Koreas, including unification, depends solely upon the two Koreas, 3 i.e. without any interference from third-party states. This is in accordance with Article 2(7) of the Charter of the United Nations [UN Charter] under which states have a duty not to intervene in the domestic matters of other states. 4 The two leaders also agreed that inter-Korean talks must continue, and that these talks should focus on denuclearization, as well as other areas such as humanitarian engagement and cultural issues. 5 Additionally, the two leaders agreed on conducting several joint activities and creating joint establishments, such as establishing a joint liaison office, jointly participating in international events, reconvening Inter-Korean Red Cross talks, and co-ordinating joint economic projects. 6 Recently, following the summit, athletes from the two Koreas marched together during the 2018 Asian Games opening ceremony, and also family members separated during the Korean War were briefly reunited during a one-week period in August 2018. 7 Improving inter-Korean relations is essential in narrowing the seventy-three-year gap between the two Koreas. As long as the two Koreas comply with the Panmunjom Declaration in good faith, inter-Korean relations will ultimately reach a point where the gap, at least in the cultural and social sense, no longer exists.

Second, the Panmunjom Declaration deals with alleviating military tensions. Because the two Koreas are technically still at war, military tensions remain high. Thus, alleviating military tensions is not only of interest to the two Koreas, but is also important to the international community. However, achieving this will take time and effort. To alleviate these tensions, President Moon and Chairman Kim agreed to end all hostile acts, establish a maritime peace zone, and hold frequent military talks. 8 An end to hostile acts is reiterated in the Declaration, because although the 1953 Armistice Agreement and other previous inter-Korean agreements mention an end to hostile acts by the two Koreas, these acts did not cease. For example, in 2010, North Korea was found responsible for sinking South Korea’s navy ship, the Cheonan, 9 and for shelling a South Korean island, Yeonpyeong Island. 10 Also, according to the Panmunjom Declaration, hostile acts include loudspeaker broadcasting and leaflet distribution in the Demilitarized Zone. 11 Following the summit, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defence immediately announced that it would remove these loudspeakers and it did do so within a few days of the signing of the Declaration. 12 The peoples of the two Koreas continue to live in fear, knowing that antagonism remains between the two Koreas. Unfortunately, the Panmunjom Declaration is not enough to guarantee that hostile acts will actually cease. The best legal guarantee for a complete cessation of hostile acts is a peace treaty.

Third, in the Panmunjom Declaration, the two leaders agreed to establish a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. With its most recent nuclear test on 3 September 2017, North Korea remains a threat to the international community. 13 Despite North Korea’s recent shift to a “charm offensive”, the international community has continued to put pressure on North Korea to commit to completing denuclearization. This is because it is too early to stop applying maximum pressure on North Korea, which continues to possess nuclear weapons and has failed to take concrete steps to denuclearize. Therefore, establishing a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula is of the utmost priority. This requires not only a peace treaty officially ending the war, but also the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

To establish a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, President Moon and Chairman Kim agreed to a prohibition on the use of force, disarmament on the Korean Peninsula, the necessity of multilateral talks, and a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. 14 The prohibition on the use of force is a fundamental rule of international law, as stated in the UN Charter. 15 Therefore, any use of force against “the territorial integrity or political independence” of either of the two Koreas is prohibited. 16 However, while the two leaders agreed to carry out disarmament, the Declaration remains ambiguous as to how this should be done. First, Section 3(2) states that disarmament shall be carried out in a phased manner. 17 Without clarity on the meaning of the term “phased”, there is no apparent agreement on the impetus behind the choice of the phrase “disarmament in a phased manner”. 18 Second, Section 3(4) states that the two Koreas “confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula”. 19 Ambiguity lies in the absence of a definition of denuclearization. South Korea’s interpretation of denuclearization is, in all probability, different from North Korea’s. 20 Only when the terms of denuclearization are clarified can complete denuclearization be achievable. As “the devil is in the detail”, the clarity of these terms is essential.

In conclusion, the Panmunjom Declaration is an important agreement because it articulates the aspirations considered important by the two Korean leaders for the future of the two Koreas. Also, the Panmunjom Declaration itself signals another attempt by the two Koreas to improve inter-Korean relations, alleviate military tensions, and establish a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. Although the Declaration will remain an important historical document between the two Koreas, its legal effect on the cessation of the Korean War is an entirely different legal question, which will be further discussed in Part II.

B. Singapore Summit: US-DPRK Joint Statement

Following the April 2018 inter-Korean summit, President Trump and Chairman Kim met in Singapore on 12 June 2018 for an unprecedented summit, this being the first ever summit held between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader. Similar to the inter-Korean summit, the Singapore summit resulted in a joint statement signed by the two leaders. 21 However, the brevity of the joint statement makes an in-depth analysis almost futile. President Trump and Chairman Kim agreed on four matters: (1) establishing a new US-DPRK relationship; (2) seeking permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula; (3) committing to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula; and (4) recovering Prisoners of War/Missing in Action [POW/MIA] remains. 22

The fourth point regarding POW/MIA remains was implemented soon after, with North Korea returning fifty-five boxes of the remains of US soldiers killed in the Korean War to the US. 23 Although it will take a considerable time to identify these remains, this gesture by North Korea is an indication of its readiness to change and to commit to peace. Additionally, regarding the third point of agreement on complete denuclearization, North Korea has initiated closing down some buildings at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. However, the closing down of these buildings should not technically constitute concrete steps towards denuclearization because the Punggyre-ri site is just one of many nuclear sites and its total shut-down has not yet been verified. 24 Furthermore, the nuclear sites may no longer be useful, in the light of Chairman Kim’s declaration in his New Year’s speech that North Korea has already completed its nuclear programme. 25 To have the US fulfil its promises to provide security guarantees and economic assistance, North Korea must take concrete and verifiable steps to complete denuclearization. 26 In effect, fulfilment of the first two points of the joint statement are dependent on denuclearization.

Although the US-DPRK summit is unprecedented and reveals a significant change to US-DPRK relations, a complete normalization of US-DPRK relations cannot be achieved if North Korea continues to possess nuclear weapons. Only when North Korea completes denuclearization will the US reciprocate and fulfil its duties under the joint statement.

II. LEGAL CHARACTER OF THE SUMMIT DECLARATIONS

It may seem fair to argue that both the Panmunjom Declaration and the US-DPRK joint statement have legal status as international agreements because they have been signed by leaders of the respective State Parties. However, it is important to determine their legal status under international law and domestic law. The following section argues that the declarations are not international treaties because they lack legal status, thus serving as mere political declarations.

A. Definition of International Treaty

Article 2(1)(a) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties [VCLT] defines a treaty as an “international agreement concluded between States”. 27 It is without question that the two summit declarations are signed by their state leaders, so it seems like they can be categorized simpliciter as international treaties.

However, the intent of the parties shows otherwise. The intent of President Moon and Chairman Kim when signing the Panmunjom Declaration was to simply agree on areas for improvement between the two Koreas. The leaders had no intention to be legally obligated to uphold such provisions. In other words, nowhere in the text have the leaders expressed or implied an intention to impose legal consequences upon the parties for any violations of the Declaration. The US-DPRK joint statement is similar in this respect—it can be argued that President Trump and Chairman Kim did not intend to impose legal obligations regarding the four agreed points.

B. Lacking Legal Implementation

Not only do these summit declarations fail to fit into the category of international treaties, they also lack any legal effect. The summit declarations must go through domestic implementation procedures to have legal effect.

According to the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act, which recognizes inter-Korean documents as “special agreements” and not as international agreements, the Panmunjom Declaration must go through a four-step process. 28 The four-step process is as follows: (1) deliberation by the State Council; (2) conclusion and ratification by the President; (3) consent by the National Assembly; and (4) promulgation by the President. 29 At the time of writing, the Panmunjom Declaration was at stage 3, pending the consent of the National Assembly. It is essential to receive the National Assembly’s consent because only then can the President promulgate it as law. 30 Similarly, the US-DPRK joint statement requires consent by the US Congress. According to Article II, Section 2(2) of the US Constitution, two-thirds of the Senators’ consent is required to ratify treaties. 31

As analyzed above, the two summit declarations fail to meet the definition of international treaties and they both lack legal effect. Therefore, these summit declarations should be considered as mere political declarations. However, non-ratification of these declarations does not give the signatory states leeway to totally disregard their declarations. The leaders initially signed the declarations on the basis of mutual and reciprocal negotiation of terms, and thus all states are expected to carry out the agreed provisions in good faith. 32 Consequently, both declarations have no legal effect on the ongoing Korean War, which is an international armed conflict governed by international law. Therefore, only a peace treaty governed by international law will bring an official end to the Korean War.

III. A KOREAN PEACE TREATY: PROCEDURE AND LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

A Korean peace treaty will officially end the Korean War by replacing the 1953 Armistice Agreement and ultimately bring permanent peace to the Korean Peninsula. With a peace treaty, it is essential to determine the contracting parties as well as to understand the legal procedure for implementation. More importantly, states should be more concerned about the legal implications of a peace treaty on the Korean War, which would include an official end to the state of war, an effect on the deployment of US troops on the Korean Peninsula, and a normalization of state relations.

A. Section 3(3) of the Panmunjom Declaration: Armistice Agreement to a Peace Treaty

Unlike the US-DPRK joint statement, the Panmunjom Declaration makes reference to the Korean War, including its combating parties. Consequently, Section 3(3) of the Panmunjom Declaration can be considered the lead point for beginning talks on a Korean peace treaty. The significance of Section 3(3) is that it recognizes three essential facts: (1) the Korean War is ongoing; (2) the armistice agreement shall be replaced by a peace treaty; and (3) the US and China must be involved in the peace-making talks.

Section 3(3) states:

The two sides agreed to declare the end of war … and actively promote the holding of trilateral meetings involving the two sides and the United States, or quadrilateral meetings involving the two sides, the United States and China with a view to replacing the Armistice Agreement with a peace agreement and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime. 33

As aforementioned, Section 3(3) indicates that the Korean War, which began on 25 June 1950, is still ongoing and will come to an end through a peace treaty which will replace the 1953 Armistice Agreement.

The Armistice Agreement was signed between the Commander-in-Chief of the UN Command, the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army. 34 The preamble of the Armistice recognizes that the agreement will cease all hostilities and acts of armed forces in Korea only “until a final peaceful settlement is achieved”. 35 Also, because an armistice merely “suspends military operations”, 36 a subsequent agreement is required to officially end the war between the combating forces.

Critical to the enforceability of the peace treaty is a determination of the appropriate contracting parties. The Korean War started out as a civil war between the two sides of Korea, but eventually evolved into an international armed conflict. Therefore, while an armistice agreement temporarily suspends military operations, a peace treaty will officially end the Korean War. The following section identifies the appropriate contracting parties, procedure, and legal implications of a Korean peace treaty.

B. Parties to the Peace Treaty

To identify the parties to the Korean War, it is necessary to go back to the start of the war. At the beginning of the war, the UN Security Council [UNSC] through Resolution 82 called for the assistance of Member States on 25 June 1950. 37 This was followed by UN Resolution 83, which recommended that Member States furnish assistance to South Korea to repel the armed attack. 38 Then, on 7 July, under Resolution 84, the UNSC established a unified command under the authority of the US. 39 Led by the US, the unified command also involved troop units from sixteen other countries. 40

On the other side of the war was Soviet Union-backed North Korea, which initiated the Korean War by invading the South on 25 June 1950. Later, in October 1950, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army intervened and helped North Korea fight the war. 41

As a peace treaty aims to resolve the causes of war, it must be signed by all belligerent parties. 42 Understanding the origins of the Korean War and making reference to Section 3(3) of the Panmunjom Declaration helps to determine the parties for a binding peace treaty. Under Section 3(3), specific mention of China and the US is significant. Notably, it is a departure from the inter-Korean declaration signed on 7 October 2007, which makes no mention of specific third-party states to be involved in multilateral peace talks. 43

China and the US were actively involved in the historical events leading to the Korean War. The US supported South Korea, mainly because of former President Truman’s efforts to prevent the spread of communism. 44 The US was involved in the war not only because it militarily supported South Korea, but also because it was the state authorized to lead the unified command. 45 The involvement of China, as aforementioned, began in October 1950. 46 The reasons for China’s direct involvement in a war outside its territory is a matter discussed by other scholars. 47 For the purposes of determining the appropriate Contracting Parties to a peace treaty ending the Korean War, it is sufficient to know that China directly participated in the war as a belligerent party. Therefore, to officially end the Korean War, an agreement among all warring parties—the US, China, South Korea, and North Korea—is required. However, a key note to remember is that the US will be a signatory as a representative of the unified command, in accordance with the position it adopted during the signing of the Armistice. 48

C. Procedure and Implementation

Once the parties to the treaty are determined, the next step is to implement the peace treaty. A peace treaty cannot effectively end the war unless it is fully enforced and implemented. A peace treaty with the two Koreas, the US, and China as signatories will undoubtedly be an internationally recognized treaty. All international treaties, governed by the VCLT, have legally binding force once they are entered into. A Korean peace treaty will require a finding of a clear intention of the parties to adhere to their obligations under the treaty, unlike the summit declarations.

Article 24 of the VCLT provides that a treaty comes into force as agreed by parties in the treaty or once all parties consent to be bound by the treaty. 49 Parties can consent to be bound by “signature, exchange of instruments constituting a treaty, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession”. 50 Once a treaty enters into force, it remains legally binding upon the parties until it is superseded by a new treaty relating to the same subject matter, 51 terminated, 52 or suspended. 53 Once the four signatories consent to being bound by a peace treaty ending the Korean War and take the necessary steps to show their consent, a peace treaty will enter into force, which will remain legally binding upon the Contracting Parties. Having considered the requirements for a binding peace treaty above, the question which remains is: What are the legal implications of a peace treaty ending the Korean War?

D. Legal Implications of a Korean Peace Treaty

It is important not only to determine the appropriate Contracting Parties and understand the legal procedures for implementing a Korean peace treaty, but also to understand the legal implications of the treaty. Once the four signatories sign a peace treaty ending the Korean War, the treaty will result in three possible legal implications: an official end to the state of war, an effect on the deployment of US troops on the Korean Peninsula, and a normalization of state relations.

First, a Korean peace treaty implies an official end to the state of war. As Member States of the UN, both North and South Korea are prohibited from the use and threat of force. 54 However, prohibition of the use of and threat of force does not preclude states from using military action during a state of war under jus in bello. 55 If a war is still ongoing, as long as the conflicting states comply with international humanitarian law, they may resort to necessary and proportionate use of force. 56 This indicates that a clear distinction exists between being in a state of war and being in a state of peace. Therefore, only an official peace treaty ending the war can completely prohibit the use of force on the Korean Peninsula.

Second, a Korean peace treaty implies that the deployment of US troops on the Korean Peninsula will be affected. As aforementioned, because the US is authorized to lead the unified command, its authority under the 1950 UN resolutions, which is solely based on the Korean War, will most likely lapse. However, a peace treaty does not mean an automatic withdrawal of US troops on the Korean Peninsula because the deployment of US troops is also based on the US-ROK Mutual Defense Treaty, and this is independent from the Armistice. 57 Only the operation of the unified command will cease to exist. Therefore, although a Korean peace treaty does not mean an automatic withdrawal of US troops, it will indicate some changes to the deployment of US troops on the Korean Peninsula, i.e. a minimization of troops.

Third, a Korean peace treaty implies the normalization of state relations. A peace treaty will officially mean that the four signatories recognize each other as legitimate governments. This will most likely have an impact on South Korea-North Korea and US-North Korea relations. For example, South Korea does not recognize North Korea as a separate state, but rather considers the entire Korean Peninsula as the territory of the Republic of Korea. 58 Furthermore, the US does not yet have any diplomatic relations with North Korea. 59 A Korean peace treaty will imply that the US and South Korea recognize the statehood of North Korea and mark the beginning of normal diplomatic relations with it.

Historical precedents in postwar unification of divided territories further support the argument that a Korean peace treaty will imply the recognition of North Korea as a sovereign and independent state. For example, the peace treaty ending the Vietnam War states that the signatories must respect the “independence [and] sovereignty” of Vietnam, including South Vietnam’s right to self-determination. 60 Likewise, a Korean peace treaty must respect the independence and sovereignty of the Koreas, including North Korea’s right to self-determination.

In conclusion, an official peace treaty requires the presence and signatures of the leaders of the four Contracting Parties and must be legally implemented under international law to have an effect on the Korean War. A Korean peace treaty implies that there will be an official end to the war on the Korean Peninsula and that the deployment of US troops will be adjusted. Additionally, a Korean peace treaty will bring changes to the relationship between the four signatories.

IV. CONCLUSION

As much as the inter-Korean summit and US-DPRK summit brought great excitement and hope to the two Koreas and the international community, caution must be exercised in reaching conclusions on their precise legal effect. This paper has argued that, in the absence of incorporation into domestic laws, the Panmunjom Declaration and the US-DPRK joint statement remain merely non-binding political declarations.

Notwithstanding the issues of legal effect discussed in this paper, Section 3(3) of the Panmunjom Declaration is a great step towards initiating talks for a peace treaty between the four required signatories: the US, China, the Republic of Korea, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It may seem as though the four parties are on track to a peace treaty, but the process will not be easy. The peace-making process may take longer than desired as it requires all four parties to reach a consensus on the substantive contents of the peace treaty.

The peace-making process may be long. However, it is necessary and worth the time and effort because of the significant legal implications of a Korean peace treaty, such as bringing an official end to the sixty-eight-year-long Korean War.

1. Panmunjom Declaration on Peace, Prosperity, and Reunification of the Korean Peninsula, 27 April 2018, Ministry of Unification, Republic of Korea [Panmunjom Declaration].

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid., s. 1(1).

4. Charter of the United Nations, 26 June 1945, 1 UNTS XVI (entered into force 24 October 1945) art. 2(7) [UN Charter].

5. Panmunjom Declaration, supra note 1, s. 1(2).

6. Ibid., s. 1(3)–(6).

7. YOO Jee-ho, “Koreas March Together at Opening Ceremony” Yonhap News (18 August 2018); and JUNG Min-kyung, “Tears, Hugs, Joy as Family Reunions Begin” The Korea Herald (20 August 2018).

8. Panmunjom Declaration, supra note 1, s. 2(1)-(3).

9. See Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group (JIG), Joint Investigation Group Report on the Attack against ROKS Cheonan, Interim Report, May 2010, online: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/20_05_10jigreport.pdf>.

10. KIM Jack and LEE Jae-Won, “North Korea Shells South in Fiercest Attack in Decades” Reuters News (23 November 2010).

11. Panmunjom Declaration, supra note 1, s. 2(1).

12. Su-Yeol MAENG, “Loudspeakers Taken Away as of Today” The Korea Defense Daily (17 May 2018).

13. “North Korea’s Sixth Nuclear Test: A First Look” 38 North (5 September 2017), online: 38 North <https://www.38north.org/2017/09/punggye090517/>.

14. Panmunjom Declaration, supra note 1, ss. 3(1)–(4).

15. UN Charter, art. 2(4).

16. Ibid.

17. Panmunjom Declaration, supra note 1, s. 3(2).

18. Ibid.

19. Ibid., s. 3(4) [emphasis added].

20. See e.g. Victor CHA, “Does Denuclearization Mean the Same Thing to North and South Korea?” PBS News Hour (27 April 2018); Josh SMITH, “Differing Views of ‘Denuclearization’ Complicate North Korea Talks” Reuters (28 March 2018); Anna FIFIELD, “North Korea’s Definition of ‘Denuclearization’ is Very Different From Trump’s” Washington Post (9 April 2018).

21. Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit, 12 June 2018, White House Statements and Releases [US-DPRK Joint Statement].

22. Ibid.

23. “Agency Begins Process of Identifying Korean War Remains” (31 July 2018), Department of Defense, online: US Department of Defense <https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1589082/agency-begins-process-of-identifying-korean-war-remains/>.

24. “The Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site Destroyed: A Good Start but New Questions Raised about Irreversibility” 38 North (31 May 2018), online: 38 North <https://www.38north.org/2018/05/punggye053118/>.

25. “Kim Jong Un’s 2018 New Year’s Address” NCNK (1 January 2018), English transcript online: NCNK <https://www.ncnk.org/node/1427>.

26. Mike POMPEO, “Remarks at a Press Briefing” US Department of State (11 June 2018), online: US Department of State <https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2018/06/283141.htm>.

27. Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 23 May 1969, 1155 UNTS 331 (entered into force 27 January 1980), art. 2(1)(a) [VCLT].

28. Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act, 29 December 2005, Act No. 7763 [IKRA].

29. Ibid.

30. Ibid., art. 22.

31. The Constitution of the United States of America, 17 September 1787, art. II, s. 2(2).

32. CORTEN, Olivier and KLEIN, Pierre, The Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties: A Commentary, Vol. 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) at 379.

33. Panmunjom Declaration, supra note 1, s. 3(3).

34. Armistice Agreement: Agreement Between the Commander-In-Chief, United Nations Command, on the One Hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and the Commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, on the Other Hand, Concerning a Military Armistice in Korea, 27 July 1953 [Armistice].

35. Ibid.

36. Convention (IV) Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its Annex: Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, 18 October 1907, International Peace Conference, The Hague (entered into force on 26 January 1910), art. 36.

37. UNSC Res. 82 (25 June 1950), UN Doc S/RES/82.

38. UNSC Res. 83 (27 June 1950), UN Doc S/RES/83.

39. UNSC Res. 84 (7 July 1950), UN Doc S/RES/84.

40. See “USFK UN Command”, United States Forces Korea, online: USFK <http://www.usfk.mil/About/United-Nations-Command/>.

41. Bangning ZHOU, “Explaining China’s Intervention in the Korean War in 1950” (2014/2015) Interstate – Journal of International Affairs.

42. Byung-Hwa LYOU, “Peace and Unification in Korea and International Law” (1986) 73(2) Occasional Papers/Reprints Series in Contemporary Asian Studies (School of Law, University of Maryland) , at 37.

43. Declaration on the Advancement of South-North Korean Relations, Peace and Prosperity, 4 October 2007, para. 4.

44. See “US Enters the Korean Conflict”, National Archives, online: National Archives <https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/korean-conflict>.

45. See supra note 39.

46. See supra note 41.

47. Ibid.; HAO Yufan and ZHAI Zhihai, “China’s Decision to Enter the Korean War: History Revisited” (1990) 121 The China Quarterly 94–115.

48. Armistice, supra note 34.

49. VCLT, supra note 27, art. 24.

50. Ibid., art.11.

51. Ibid., arts. 30, 59.

52. Ibid., art. 54.

53. Ibid., art. 57.

54. UN Charter, supra note 4, art. 2(4).

55. International Humanitarian Law: Answers to Your Questions, International Committee of the Red Cross (22 January 2015).

56. Ibid.

57. Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of Korea, 1 October 1953 (entered into force on 18 November 1954).

58. Constitution of the Republic of Korea, 17 July 1948, art. 3.

59. “U.S. Relations with North Korea”, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (17 July 2018), online: US Department of State <https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2792.htm>.

60. Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam, 27 January 1973, arts. 1, 9.