• The UN Command, led by the United States, found that North and South Korea were both guilty of violating armistice agreements following a recent incident involving gunfire along the Demilitarised Zone between the two countries.
• This shooting, the first of its kind in approximately two and a half years, was in violation of the armistice agreement which brought a halt to the Korean War in 1953.
The Whole Incident in Brief:
• On May 3, South Korea announced that the two countries had been involved in an exchange of gunfire early in the morning.
• Therefore, the two countries had been involved in a gunfire exchange.
• South Korea said it had retaliated by firing 10 shots as a warning towards North Korean posts at the border.
• According to the announcement, South Korea had warned North Korea through broadcast messages that the firings were a violation of the 2018 inter-Korean military agreement.
• This agreement’s Pyongyang Joint Declaration of September 2018, said there would be reduced military tensions between the two countries.
The Korean Armistice Agreement:
• The 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement, was a ceasefire though there was no official declaration of the end of the war, and the conflict has continued, without fighting between the parties.
• The conflict has continued, without fighting between the parties.
• Many do not realise that South Korea, under President Syngman Rhee, did not sign the armistice.
• In the absence of an official peace treaty, the two officially remain at war.
• However, in December 1991, North and South Korea signed a pact.
• In this pact, they agreed to refrain from aggressions, in a step that would lead to better relations and a potential resolution of the situation.
• Since the armistice was enforced, there have been several violations of it from both North and South Korea, leading to persistent tensions.
• However, despite this, there have also been a softening of relations, particularly between the present leaders of North and South Korea.
What is the UN Command?
• The UN Command, led by the United States, established in 1950.
• It oversees affairs pertaining to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
• One of its roles is to ensure the terms of the armistice agreement.