South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday that it is seeking ways for South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to declare an official end of the 1950-53 Korean War at the April 27 inter-Korean summit.
Seoul plans to seek to bilaterally declare an end to the 65-year-old armistice by banning hostile activities, including reducing conventional weapons within the demilitarized zone, and to sign a peace treaty through a three-party summit among the two Koreas and the United States.
In an opening remark at a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington on Tuesday (local time), U.S. President Donald Trump said that the two Koreas “do have my blessing to discuss the end of the war.”
A senior official at Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday that Seoul is seeking to include an agreement on “banning hostile activities” to agendas, although it is not certain if the expression “end of the (Korean) war” would be used at the summit. “We expect it to be reflected into a summit agreement in any form,” the official said. Adding that South Korea is a “direct party” to the proposed declaration of the war’s end, the official noted that such an agreement is expected to be reached because Kim Jong Un had told South Korean special envoys that he had no intention of taking any military action against the South.
However, the official said that it would be possible to seek a three-way or four-way agreement, if necessary, as there are different views on whether an inter-Korean agreement can turn the armistice into a peace regime.
The remark is interpreted as an indication of a three-phase peace regime achieved by an inter-Korean end-of-war or peace declaration followed by an agreement on a denuclearization roadmap at a North Korea-U.S. summit and a three-way peace agreement among the two Koreas and the United States.
In a related remark, Chung Eui-yong, head of Seoul’s National Security Office, said that he had an “in-depth discussion” with his U.S. counterpart John Bolton on ways to “ban hostility on the peninsula, establish an ultimate peace regime, and address Pyongyang’s concerns and guarantee a bright future.”