Oman Daily Observer

Call to declare end of Korean War is premature: N Korea

- — Reuters

South Korea’s call to declare a formal end to the Korean War is premature as there is no guarantee it would lead to the withdrawal of the “US hostile policy” towards Pyongyang, North Korea state media KCNA reported on Friday, citing Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song.

South Korea President Moon Jaein on Tuesday repeated 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 United States and China, make such a declaratio­n. The two Koreas are still technicall­y at war after their 19501953 conflict ended in a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty.

“Nothing will change as long as the political circumstan­ces around the DPRK remains 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.

“The US withdrawal of its doublestan­dards and hostile policy is the top priority in stabilisin­g the situation of the Korean peninsula and ensuring peace on it.”

On Friday, Moon said he was confident that Pyongyang will realise it is in its interest to come to dialogue with Washington, but not certain that moment will come during his term, which ends in 2022. Moon was speaking to reporters aboard South Korea’s presidenti­al jet as he flew back to Seoul from the United States after addressing the UN General Assembly.

“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.”

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden addressed the UN assembly and said the United States wants “sustained diplomacy” to resolve the crisis surroundin­g North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

North Korea has rejected US overtures to engage in dialogue and the head of the UN atomic watchdog said this week that Pyongyang’s nuclear programme is going “full steam ahead.”

North Korea and South Korea test fired ballistic missiles last week, the latest volley in an arms race in which both nations have developed increasing­ly sophistica­ted weapons amid fruitless efforts to start talks to defuse tensions.

 ?? — Reuters ?? North Korea’s Premier Kim Tok Hun inspects the agricultur­al and light industrial fields in South Phyongan.
— Reuters North Korea’s Premier Kim Tok Hun inspects the agricultur­al and light industrial fields in South Phyongan.

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