After the end of the Korean War North Korea, China and the US had signed an armistice (as mentioned in the article, South Korea never signed the agreement), that formally ended the war. Considering the difference between an Armistice and a peace treaty, North Korea and South Korea are still technically at war. Why haven’t they signed a legally binding truce yet?

  • 2
    Because they don't want to? Having an external enemy to blame things on is almost a necessity for any dictator.
    – jamesqf
    Jul 7, 2019 at 18:04

2 Answers 2


There is a similar question on this site:

Why doesn't South Korea give up its claim on North Korea?

The answer is the same as there:

  • both countries have constitutionally-fixed sovereignty claims over the entire Korea, with minor differences;
  • the first article of any peace treaty is usually a formal designation of borders and an acknowledgement of each other's territorial integrity within that borders.

The two items above fundamentally contradict each other.


One has to realize that the Korean Peninsula problem is NOT a Korean problem.

It started out as an afterthought in some post WWII discussions, where Korea was arbitrarily partitioned by ignorance and stupidity rather than schemes and machination.

But it quickly became a Great Powers problem, where it became yet another contested region in the conflict between the USSR and the USA.

Korea has for the most part been one people and generally one country for most of its history. Most Koreans are for reunification.

The problem has been, China, Russia and the US of A.

Each side claims they are protecting their korea, and their koreans. But each side has greater strategic and geopolitical reasons for their stance.

This is why both Koreas are actually lobbying China, Russia, and the USA for a path forward.

Because everyone knows this isn't a korean problem. it never was.

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