North, South Korea expected to discuss end of 68-year war

Kim Jong-Un (left, courtesy of KCNA/AFP/Getty Images); Moon Jae In (right, courtesy of Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

The leaders of North Korea and South Korea are in talks to end the war between the two nations.

An unidentified official in Seoul told the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and South Korea President Moon Jae-in may release a joint statement saying they will seek to ease military conflict, Bloomberg reports.

It’s unclear at this time when they will hold their first conversation, but Moon’s chief of staff Im Jong-seok says it’s possible they may speak together on the phone this Friday, according to Bloomberg.

Moon Chung-in said Kim’s desire to improve livelihoods at home by developing the economy while bolstering his nuclear capacity, could be his motive for the recent outreach, according to the Associated Press.

Kim announced earlier this year that he’s willing to talk about giving up his nuclear weapons.

When South Korean special envoys visited North Korea’s capital last month, Kim agreed to meet Moon Jae-in in the Koreas’ third-ever leaders’ summit and expressed his willingness to hold “candid” talks with the United States about “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Kim also said he has no reason to possess nuclear weapons if he has a credible security guarantee and doesn’t face outside military threats, according to the South Korean envoys.

According to the Associated Press,  critics say the North is likely to take only partial steps toward disarmament while winning various concessions, and that tensions could then flare again. They note North Korea has long said that “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” should also include the withdrawal of the 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea and a halt to annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

Associated Press writers Hyung-Jin Kim and Kim Tong-hyung contributed to this report.