The Northern limit line(NLL) was set by the U.S.-led United Nations military forces in August 1953 after the UN Military Command and North Korea failed to reach an agreement. It is not officially recognized by North Korea. In particular, it is not included into the Armistice Agreement of 1953.
The West NLL was based on article 13(b) and provisory clause of the article of the Armistice Agreement as military contact line between South and North Korea.
It has brought sharp military conflicts in 1992 and 2002 between South and North Korea. These incidents were resulted from conflicts over the validity of the NLL and the appropriate maritime boundary between two Koreas.
From the viewpoint of South Korea, the NLL is a lawful Maritime Military Demarcation Line under the Korean Military Armistice Agreement and it must be maintained as a maritime boundary between two Koreas until being substituted by a peace treaty. But North Korea claims that the NLL is not sea demarcation line, because the NLL was established by the US unilaterally without prior agreement or notification.
This study would examine whether the West Northern Limit Line is valid or not, and show the way of peaceful settlement on the West Northern Limit Line.
And also this study suggests that the possible alternatives are to create of Zone of Peace and Cooperation in the West Sea and establish of new maritime boundary as conversion to Peace Regime. Zone of Peace and Cooperation in the West Sea is economic solution to create common interest through cooperation in the joint fishery zone.
If the Armistice Agreement is converted into Peace Regime, South and North Korea have to recognize each other as a Nation. And then, they would have to establish new maritime boundary through elements of International law and principle of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
But until the current regime converted into peace regime, the NLL is regarded and maintained as a lawful sea demarcation line.