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 “US hostile policy” toward Pyongyang, North Korean state media KCNA reported on Friday, citing Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in 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 US and China, make such a declaration.
The two Koreas are still technically at war after their 1950-53 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 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, but was not certain that moment would come during his term, which ends in 2022.
“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.
North Korea has rejected US overtures to engage in dialog and the head of the UN atomic watchdog said this week that Pyongyang’s nuclear program 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.