U.S., N. Korea may agree on end-of-war declaration at Hanoi summit: Cheong Wa Dae

Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom (Yonhap)

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SEOUL, Feb 25, 2019, Yonhap. The United States and North Korea may agree on how to declare an end to the Korean War at the upcoming meeting of their leaders, a senior official from Seoul’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Monday, reported the Yonhap.

“I believe the possibility is open. There is no way of knowing what kind of a declaration it might be, but I believe the United States and North Korea may reach an agreement on the declaration of war’s end at any degree,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a daily press briefing.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to hold their second meeting this week in Hanoi. The two first met in Singapore in June 2018.

The 1950-53 Korean War ended only with an armistice.

Seoul earlier insisted that declaring a formal end to the war should at least involve the divided Koreas and the United States.

Kim claimed the two Koreas may have already made a de facto declaration of the war’s end when their militaries signed an agreement to forgo all hostile acts shortly after South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited Pyongyang for his third and latest summit with the North Korean leader in September.

He insisted that Seoul and Beijing may have already done so when they established their diplomatic ties, adding that the United States and China normalized their bilateral relations in 1979.

China fought on the North’s side in the Korean War.

“Therefore, the only countries left are the North and the U.S.,” he said. “Should the North and the U.S. declare the war’s end, it (the war’s end) would be achieved in the practical sense.”

“There can be many ways (to declare the war’s end) and our government welcomes any form of declaration to the war’s end. We believe a declaration by the North and the U.S. should be enough if it comes to that,” Kim said.

“What is more important is to ensure smooth denuclearization of North Korea through a declaration of war’s end and to accelerate the speed of the denuclearization process,” he added.

The spokesman said replacing the Korean armistice with a peace treaty would take some time and that it must be a multilateral effort involving both Koreas and China.

“A peace treaty must contain considerably complicated and structural items. And a peace treaty seems to come in the last stage of the denuclearization process,” the spokesman said.

“Because a peace treaty must include a security guarantee by a multilateral number of countries, it is our government’s stance that signing a peace treaty must be a multilateral process,” he added.

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