North Korea rejects South Korea's proposal for peace


South korea
North Korea last week conducted its first missile tests in six months (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

According to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Such a declaration could aid in achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has dismissed South Korea's call for a formal declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War as a means of restoring peace, claiming that such a move might be used as a "smokescreen" to hide the US hostile stance toward the North.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in reaffirmed his support for an end-of-war declaration in an address to the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week, saying that it may assist in accomplishing denuclearization and long-term peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Mr. Moon's call, according to North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song, is premature as long as US policies remain unaltered.

"It should be clearly understood that the declaration of the end of the war is of no help at all in stabilizing the situation on the Korean Peninsula at the moment, but can rather be misused as a smokescreen covering up the US hostile policy," Mr. Ri said in a statement broadcast by state media.

He claimed that American weaponry and personnel stationed in South Korea and its environs, as well as regular US military drills in the region, "all point to the United States' hostile policy toward (North Korea) becoming more vicious by the day."

North Korea has long viewed US-led economic restrictions as evidence of US animosity toward the country.

In response, South Korea's Unification Ministry said it would keep working to adopt the end-of-war declaration and boost cooperation with associated nations.

Declaring the war to be over would be "a very meaningful step," according to Cha Duck Chul, a deputy ministry spokeswoman because it would serve as a beginning point for peace talks and denuclearization on the peninsula.

The Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula technically at war.

North Korea has insisted on signing a peace treaty with the United States to end the conflict and strengthen relations in the future formally.

According to some analysts, the peace treaty might allow North Korea to demand that the US withdraw its 28,500 troops from South Korea and ease sanctions.

During the period of diplomacy with the US that began in 2018, both Koreas had called for an end-of-war declaration and a peace treaty to be signed, and there was speculation that then-President Donald Trump might announce the war's end in early 2019 to persuade North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to commit to denuclearization.

As discussions stalled about reducing sanctions in exchange for North Korea's denuclearization, no such declaration was made.

North Korea claimed in late 2019 that if the US tried to persuade it to return to the negotiations with a proposal on a war-end declaration without abandoning its hostile policies, the nuclear problem would not be resolved.

Mr. Kim has warned that North Korea will boost its nuclear arsenal and introduce more sophisticated military systems unless the US abandons its hostile stance.

North Korea launched its first missile tests in six months last week, confirming its potential to hit South Korea and Japan, two vital US allies where 80,000 US troops are stationed.

Publish : 2021-09-24 10:47:00

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