New Delhi: Visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Monday that the US, China and North Korea agree in principle on declaring a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War and Seoul will push to make it happen.
Moon made the remarks while addressing a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison after bilateral summit talks in Canberra, reports Yonhap News Agency.
“The US, China and North Korea have all expressed their agreement in theory, in principle,” the President said, referring to the end-of-war declaration, which he himself proposed.
“However, because North Korea is demanding the fundamental withdrawal of the US’ hostile policy toward the North as a precondition, we have not been able to enter talks.”
Moon said his government will work until the end to bring the parties to an agreement.
During the war, the US fought alongside South Korea to fend off an invasion by North Korea, which was backed by China.
The conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.
“An end-of-war declaration is not the ultimate goal,” Moon noted.
“On top of signifying the end of the unstable armistice regime that has continued for nearly 70 years, it can serve as momentum to restart talks between the South, North and the US.”
Moon’s early diplomatic overtures to the North led to an unprecedented Washington-Pyongyang summit in Singapore in June 2018, raising hopes for a breakthrough in efforts to dismantle the North’s nuclear weapons program.
The talks stalled, however, after a second US-North Korea summit in Hanoi in February 2019 ended without a deal.