Koreas’ summit held after decades of animosity, tension

KUWAIT, The South and North Koreas will hold on April 27 a historic summit, which is the third of its kind during the 68 years of animosity and conflict between the two nations.

Two summits were held before in 2000 and 2007, which led to the slight decrease of tension in the Korean Peninsula.

Since July 27, 1953, tension amongst the two nations have been going on and off, a scenario, which continued for decades: On June 25, 1950: the North Korean army crossed the 38th parallel north line diving between the two Koreas, leading to the occupation of Seoul within three days. The war between the two sides — backed by the capitalist US and the communist China — resulted in the death of four million people.

On July 27, 1953: a fragile truce was signed without a full-on peace treaty, which meant technically that the two Koreas remained at war.

On January 21, 1968: 32 North Korean Commandos launched an assault on Seoul in an attempt to assassinate then South Korean leader Park Chung-hee.

The intruders were intercepted at only 100 meters away from the presidential headquarters with 90 South Korean dying. Two of the North Korean commandos were apprehended.

On August 15, 1974: A North Korean agent opened fire on South Korean President Park Chung-hee. The assassin missed his target; however, the South Korean leader’s wife died in the assault.

On August 18, 1976: North Korean soldiers attacked a team cutting trees in the de-militaries zone. The attack resulted in the death of an American soldier.

On October 9, 1983: North Korean agents blew up a commercial complex in Myanmar ahead of a scheduled visit by South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan. The attack resulted in the death of 20 people, including four South Korean Ministers.

On November 29, 1987: a South Korean aircraft exploded over Myanmar, killing 115 individuals. Seoul blamed Pyongyang for planting a bombing onboard of the plane.

On September 16, 1996: a North Korean submarine deployed commandos on South Korean shores. The attempt was a failure with 24 North Korean military personnel killed in action while one was arrested.

On June 15, 1999: a marine conflict erupted between the two Koreas in the Yellow Sea region located between China and the Korean Peninsula. The outcome of the showdown was the sinking of a North Korean vessel with 20 sailors onboard.

On June 29, 2002: a similar marine showdown occurred against in the Yellow Sea region with North Korea paying the price yet against with the loss of a ship with 13 sailors onboard.

On October 9, 2006: North Korea successfully conducted its first nuclear test, which led the international community to impose sanctions on Pyongyang.

On November 10, 2009: clashes occurred in the Yellow Sea region, resulting in the damage of several North Korean ships.

On March 26, 2010: a mysterious explosion occurred onboard a South Korean vessel with 46 sailors killed.

On May 20, 2010: international investigation into the sinking of the South Korean vessel concluded that a torpedo, launched from a presumably North Korean submarine, had caused its destruction. Pyongyang refuted this accusation.

On May 24, 2010: Seoul cut commercial ties with Pyongyang and denied North Korean ships from entering the South international waters.

On October 29, 2010: tension rose ahead of the G-20 summit, which was held in Seoul as troops from the South and the North exchanged fire on the borders.

On November 23, 2010: clashes led to casualties and fleeing of civilians due to a North Korean aggression against border South Korean Island.

On September 3, 2017: North Korea intensified the launch of ballistic missiles and nuclear tests on the background of a verbal jousting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

On January 3, 2018: the Seoul-Pyongyang hotline, shutdown since 2016, was reestablished. The Winter Olympics in Seoul, held in February the same year, also improved relations.

Source: Kuwait News Agency