North Korea says South Korea’s call to declare a formal end to the Korean War is premature as there is no guarantee it would lead to peace in the Korean peninsula.
The two Koreas are still technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a ceasefire following huge involvement from the US and China.
Since the war ended with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty, war can still break out between both sides at any time with the US pledging to defend South Korea while China sides with North Korea.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday, September 21, made a call for a formal end to the Korean War in an address to the UN General Assembly and proposed that the two Koreas with the United States, or with the US and China, make such a declaration.
But North Korea has now responded saying such a move will not stop the withdrawal of “US hostile policy” toward Pyongyang, North Korean state media KCNA reported on Friday, September 24, citing Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song.
“Nothing will change as long as the political circumstances around the DPRK remain unchanged and the US hostile policy is not shifted, although the termination of the war is declared hundreds of times,” Ri said on KCNA, using North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Last week both North and South Korea fired ballistic missiles as tensions rose on the peninsula. The US tried under the former Trump administration to carry out negotiations with Kim Jong Un’s administration but the attempts failed.
“The US withdrawal of its double standards and hostile policy is the top priority in stabilizing the situation of the Korean peninsula and ensuring peace on it.”
On Friday, Moon said he was confident that Pyongyang will realize it is in its interest to come to dialogue with Washington.
“It seems that North Korea is still weighing options while keeping the door open for talks, since it is only raising tension at a low level, just enough for the US to not break off all contact,” said Moon, speaking to reporters aboard South Korea’s presidential jet as he flew back to Seoul from the US after addressing the UN General Assembly.
On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden addressed the UN assembly and said the US wants “sustained diplomacy” to resolve the crisis surrounding North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
This week the head of the UN atomic watchdog said that Pyongyang’s nuclear program is going “full steam ahead.”
Editing by Tola Oguneye