UN delegate Lieut. Gen. William K. Harrison, Jr. (seated left), and Korean People’s
Army and Chinese People’s Volunteers delegate Gen. Nam Il (seated right) signing
the Korean War armistice agreement at P’anmunjŏm, Korea, July 27, 1953.
There have been some enourmous changes to the political situation of the Korean Peninsula this year. Korea's President Moon Jae-in and North Korean President Kim Jong-un have held three summit talks. In June, the American trump and President Kim Jong Il will have direct talks in Singapore for the first time in history, relaxing tension in the Korean Peninsula. However, multiple media reports that the English version of the "Panmunjom declaration" announced in April is different from the "Panmunjom declaration" written in Korean.
After the first summit between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un in April, the "Panmunjom declaration" was announced. This declaration was written in Korean. The content was that both countries agreed to continue talks this year, aiming to conclude a peace agreement with the declaration of the end of the Korean War. However, in the Japanese version, due to the position of punctuation marks, it means that the two countries have agreed to conclude a war declaration and a peace agreement later this year.
The English version was created by Korea and North Korea respectively. After that, the English version "Panmunjom declaration" was submitted to the United Nations. According to the VOA broadcasting verification, the contents submitted to the United Nations contained english expressions close to the "Panmunjom declaration" translated into English by North Korea. It is the same as the Japanese version, it points out that it intends to declare a war within the year. However, in the english translation created by Korea. the contents have the same meaning as the original text, in other words, discussing the aim to work towards an end of war declaration.
It has long been common that political declarations are announced by language. And it is also true that a political declaration is the result of mutual compromise. It will be important to take note of what kind of influence the existence of "Panmunjom declaration" and the language contained will affect the Korean Peninsula in the future.