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North And South Korea: Lasting Peace May Be Near

Korean Peace. Image: Kurious
Korean Peace. Image: Kurious

It was one step, but it represented the possibility of lasting peace for North and South Korea.

Kim Jong-Un, the leader of North Korea, walked to the border between his country and South Korea … and stepped over it, into South Korea.

There, he shook hands with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in.

It was a joining together not just of two leaders, but of two countries that have been at war for 65 years.

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 and, although fighting ended in 1953 (when an armistice* was declared), no peace treaty was signed by both countries. Officially the two countries remained at war.

During the Korean War, North Korea was supported by China and the (then) Soviet Union, and South Korea was supported by the United Nations, led by the United States and other countries.

Last week, the two leaders met to discuss how to put an end to the Korean War for good. They want to join the countries and make the border a “peace zone.”

They are also discussing plans for reducing the number of weapons — particularly nuclear weapons — in both countries.

The road to peace — as with war — is a long and difficult one. Many events have happened over the past 65 years to bring North and South Korea to this point. The two leaders say they expect to have an agreement and a plan for lasting peace in place by the end of 2018. The agreement will likely have to be signed by North Korea, South Korea, China and the United States with possible involvement by other countries and the United Nations.

When that agreement, or peace treaty, is finally signed the Korean War will be officially declared over.

*Armistice: According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an armistice is “An agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time; a truce.”

Related Links
There is a lot of history relating to North and South Korea and the Korean War. Here are a few links to get you started on this long and complicated relationship:

Korean War, Wikipedia:

Korean Armistice Agreement, BBC News:

Korean Demilitarized Zone (border), Wikipedia: 



By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The first line of this article is about a symbolic “step.” It was deliberately chosen by the author to make the reader think of another symbolic step: the first step on the moon. When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon for the first time, he said the famous line, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Think about these two events–these two symbolic steps–and draw a T-chart with the similarities and differences between them.

Reading Prompt: Comprehension Strategies
The author takes great effort to provide necessary context and history before telling too much of what happened. How does providing history and context help a reader view new information. How does it help the relationship between the author and reader.

Identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand texts 
(OME, Reading: 1.3).

Identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand increasingly texts (OME, Reading: 1.3).

Language Feature: Homonyms
Words that sound the same but are spelled differently are called homonyms. Knowing homonyms is really important because using the wrong word can lead the reader to think that the author may be lazy or clueless. In today’s article, “peace” is a central topic. When it comes to pizza or cake, “piece” is of the utmost importance.

See if you know the difference between the homonyms listed below.

allowed vs. aloud
bare vs. bear
lessen vs. lesson
way vs. weigh
steal vs. steel
groan vs. grown